In a notice released to the Nigerian Stock Exchange website, Oando Plc announced it had obtained a court order restraining the Nigerian Stock Exchange from placing the stock on suspension and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) from carrying out a forensic audit of the firm’s affairs.

According to the statement, the resort to the law courts was to safeguard the interests of the company and its shareholders. SEC’s directives, in Oando’s opinion were illegal, invalid and calculated to prejudice the business of the company. Oando, also issued a separate statement with a detailed reply to each of the allegations by SEC.

Oando Plc’s s posers
The company, also outlined the following reasons why it believes SEC’s actions are injurious:

  •  Why is SEC conducting an investigation, when it is unsure of the veracity of its preliminary findings ?
  • SEC has denied the company an opportunity to appear before it to plead its case
  • The alleged infractions do not warrant the suspension of free trading of the company’s shares.
  • SEC’s actions will prevent the company from conducting new business and affect the confidence of stakeholders, especially its lenders.
  • The company also alleged that SEC was biased and unprofessional in the way and manner it conducted its investigation.
  • SEC had qualified one of the shareholders Ansbury Plc, as a whistle blower despite the company being an indirect investor, and having a matter involving Oando in arbitration. SEC rules, according to the firm prevent it from intervening in a matter facing arbritration.
  • The two petitioners Dahiru Mangal and Gabriel Volpi were copied in SEC’s correspondence with the company’s Group CEO. Oando believes this is prejudicial, and gives the petitioners access to confidential information.
  • The estimated cost of the audit at N160 million which is to be borne by the company is unnecessary, and not in the best interest of shareholders at this time.

What are the contents of the court order?

The court restrained the Nigerian Stock Exchange or any other party working for it from implementing a technical suspension of the Company’s shares.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and any other party working on its behalf has been restrained from conducting any forensic audit into the affairs of the company.

Here is a copy of the statement.

Onome Ohwovoriole has a degree in Economics and Statistics from the University of Benin and prior to joining Nairametrics in December 2016 as Lead Analyst had stints in Publishing, Automobile Services, Entertainment and Leadership Training. He covers companies in the Nigerian corporate space, especially those listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE). He also has a keen interest in new frontiers like Cryptocurrencies and Fintech. In his spare time, he loves to read books on finance, fiction as well as keep up with happenings in the world of international diplomacy. You can contact him via onome.ohwovoriole@nairametrics.com

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