By CHIKA IZUORA, Lagos
Mr. Michael Ajukwu and Mark Simmonds have stepped down as non-executive directors of Lekoil Ltd, an oil and gas exploration and production in Nigeria.
Both resigned on Wednesday in what Industry observers see as major internal crises.
Ajukwu was made chair only in January, and following his exit, Anthony Hawkins will step up to interim chair until a permanent replacement is found, report by MorningStar indicates.
In resigning, Lekoil said, Ajukwu noted that, “a fundamental misalignment of objectives amongst the shareholders of Lekoil Nigeria” and said he believes new directors are required to address the issue.
Lekoil appointed two new non-executive directors. Marco D’Attanasio is chief investment officer at London-based investment management firm Hadron Capital and is on the board of London-listed cryptocurrency miner Argo Blockchain PLC. Al Tindall is senior counsel at Hardwick Law Firm LLC in the US.
Apparent crises hitting South African mining company, Metallon Corporation has derailed its attempt to takeover Lekoil Limited
At the moment, two out of its three board appointees have resigned in quick succession.
Mr. Michael Ajukwu who was appointed chairman of the AIM listed Lekoil Limited in January 2021 by Metallon Corporation, as well as George Maxwell have both thrown in the towel.
Following a decline in the price of Lekoil Limited shares in 2020, Metallon which has unsuccessfully conducted mining business in Zimbabwe and South Africa mopped up 15 per cent of the company’s shares, thereby, becoming the majority stakeholder in a veiled bid to assume control of Lekoil Nigeria Limited (an affiliate company), its subsidiaries and assets.
However, the impracticability of Lekoil Limited or its board affirming or taking control of Lekoil Nigeria or its subsidiaries has become more obvious.
According to its shareholders agreement, Lekoil Limited is a minority shareholder in Lekoil Nigeria and thus Lekoil Limited cannot generally compel Lekoil Nigeria to follow a particular course of action.
Based on the relevant Nigerian laws and extant agreements between Lekoil Nigeria and its respective shareholders, Lekoil Nigeria and its subsidiaries remain directly responsible (to the exclusion of any third parties) for their governance.