The dust generated by Securities and Exchange Commission’s directive ordering a forensic audit of Oando Plc accounts is yet to settle. The company maintains that there is no basis for a forensic audit of the company by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)
Oando said it will continue in its legal battle with SEC on the regulator’s alleged findings and sanctions following an investigation into the oil marketing firm, which began in May 2017.
It noted that it had gone to the Court of Appeal to challenge SEC’s technical suspension of its shares and a forensic audit into its affairs.
The company said in addition to the legal action, it had written several petitions to various arms of the government expressing concern at the way SEC, under the leadership of the suspended Director-General, Mounir Gwarzo, managed the investigation
“The SEC claims that the actions it has taken are based on specific ‘findings’ it has made against the company. Yet, in a totally self-contradictory manner, SEC wants to embark on a forensic audit of the company to confirm the veracity or otherwise of its findings. This begs the question as to how definite findings (in its own words) could have been made when SEC itself admits that its investigation has not been concluded.”
It also alleged that the investigation was biased, did not follow due process and lacked fairness.
“Despite our objections to the forensic audit, the company would like to reiterate that we recognize and respect the authority of the commission, and in the spirit of cooperation, transparency and full disclosure, the company will comply with the directives of the commission while reserving our legal rights in this matter.”
Oando, however welcomed the appointment of Dr. Abdul Zubair as the acting director-general of SEC, describing it as “an opportunity for the regulator to act independently and for a new and enduring relationship to be established.”
It would be recalled that SEC had ordered a forensic audit into the activities of Oando Plc following series of petitions from its Shareholders. This has led to series of legal battle between the Oil marketing Company and SEC.
A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos had earlier struck out a suit filed by Oando Plc seeking to restrain the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) from conducting a forensic audit on the affairs of the company, and imposing a technical suspension on the company’s shares.
The judge also advised Oando to take its case to the Investment and Securities Tribunal (IST), as the laws setting up the tribunal exclude any other body from hearing a dispute between a company and a capital market operator.This judgement has however been appealed by Oando.