15 February 2015, Lagos – Oando Plc has dismissed as false and malicious allegations that the company gave donations to political parties through the use of two private jets – ‘a Bombardier Challenger with Reg Number ZS BOT and a Hawker 4000 with Reg Number ZS JAT’.
The company’s position was contained in a letter written to THISDAY by the Chief Legal Officer Oando Plc, Ngozi Okonkwo, in a reaction to an advertorial published in some national dailies on the said donations.
“Our attention has been drawn to the advertorial published recently in a few widely circulated newspapers. The advertorial alleges amongst other things that Oando has given donations to political parties through the use of two private jets – ‘a Bombardier Challenger with Reg Number ZS BOT and a Hawker 4000 with Reg Number ZS JAT’.
“Kindly be informed that these assertions are false and misleading for the following reasons: Oando Plc does not own directly or indirectly through a special purpose vehicle or subsidiary, a Bombardier Challenger with Registration Number ZS BOT and/or a Hawker 4000 with Registration Number ZS JAT; and Oando has not made any donations or gifts of its property or funds of any amount whatsoever to any Nigerian political party or association.
“Oando is a responsible corporate citizen and a leading indigenous integrated oil and gas company listed on both the Nigerian Stock Exchange and the Johannesburg Stock Exchange with over 260,000 shareholders and a large workforce, all with diverse interests and cannot take a political leaning from a corporate standpoint” Okonkwo wrote.
“We expect all media houses to act responsibly and verify the accuracy of information contained in advertorial before publishing same; regrettably, the media houses that published these advertorials behaved unprofessionally by not doing so.
“We insist that all media houses refrain from any publications of this nature as they are damaging to our company’s reputation and good standing. We shall not hesitate to take legal action against any organisation that proceeds to publish this advertorial or similar publications without prior and thorough verification of the accuracy of the content”, the company warned.