Oando Plc has reacted to the investigation carried out by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) into its affairs which, among other things, recommended the resignation of the company’s Chief Executive Officer, Wale Tinubu.
According to a statement issued late last night to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Oando Plc emphasised that the alleged infractions are unsubstantiated as such, the recommendations/penalties are pointless.
Oando’s Position: The company accused SEC of not giving it the opportunity to review and respond to the supposed findings from the forensic audit that was conducted. As such, the company said it cannot ascertain the authenticity of the findings; if at all there were any.
Therefore, Oando Plc believes that the entire drama is a ploy designed to malign its business. The statement went further to disclose the company’s intention to take all necessary legal action towards protecting its business and shareholders’ interests.
“Oando is of the view that these alleged infractions and penalties are unsubstantiated, ultra vires, invalid and calculated to prejudice the business of the Company. The Company has not been given the opportunity to see, review and respond to the forensic audit report and so is unable to ascertain what findings (if any) were made in relation to the alleged infractions and defend itself accordingly before the SEC.
“The Company reserves its rights to take all legal steps to protect its business and assets whilst remaining committed to act in the best interests of all its shareholders.”
SEC’s Position: As we earlier reported, Nigeria’s apex capital market regulator, the Securities and Exchange Commission, released a statement yesterday notifying the public that it had concluded an investigation into the affairs of Oando Plc.
According to SEC, a number of serious infractions were committed by the oil company ranging from false disclosures, market abuses, manipulation of financial statements, internal control failures, etc.
As a result, SEC recommended the resignation of every company board member who was implicated in the investigation; including the Wale Tinubu, the CEO. He was also barred from holding becoming a director in any quoted company over the next five years. SEC also noted that prosecution will soon follow.
Back story: A shareholder battle ensued in Oando Plc about two years ago after two of its directors (Gabriel Volpi and Alhaji Dahiru Mangal) accused the company’s management of financial recklessness and denying them adequate representation on the board.
- They also requested that SEC suspend the company’s Annual General Meeting. Oando denied it, following which SEC launched an investigation. SEC went ahead to announce it was conducting a forensic investigation on Oando in October 2017.
- Oando then took the case to court alleging that SEC does not have the powers to investigate its affairs and went to the court requesting a restraint of SEC from the courts.
- As Oando battled with SEC, the Minister of Finance suspended the DG, Mr Mounir Gwarzo. He was accused of financial impropriety when he was SEC’s Commissioner, an accusation Gwarzo denied.
- The then Minister, Kemi Adeosun, eventually resigned in 2018 following a media leak about her NYSC status.
- Just this week, the court ordered the reinstatement of Gwarzo as SEC’s DG. Two days after Gwarzo’s reinstatement, SEC released its statement.
Saga Continues: As Nairametrics earlier observed, the Oando vs Volpi vs Mangal vs SEC saga has just taken a new turn which could involve several lawsuits. Oando’s Wale Tinubu has successfully fought many battles in the past and will surely fight this one as well. This is also a case that might end up being settled politically considering how high the stakes are. Whichever way it turns out, we will be here to bring you the full details.