…orders forensic audit of company’s dealings
18 October 2017, Sweetcrude, Lagos — The Securities & Exchange Commission, SEC, has ordered the full suspension of the trading of Oando Plc’s Shares starting Friday, October 20.
According to the Commission on Wednesday, the full suspension will be for two days, after which a technical suspension will follow until further notice.
In a notice on its website, SEC directed the Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE to stop the sale of Oando shares, although NSE is yet to put up the notice on its website as at the time of filing this report.
SEC said the decision was taken after a “comprehensive review” following petitions it received from Alhaji Dahiru Barau Mangal and Ansbury Incorporated.
According to the Commission, its findings showed Oando guilty of breach of provisions of the Investments & Securities Act 2007, breach of the SEC Code of Corporate Governance for Public Companies, suspected insider dealing, related party transactions not conducted at arm’s length, and discrepancies in the shareholding structure of Oando Plc, etc.
“To ensure that the interest of all shareholders of Oando Plc are preserved during the course of the exercise, the Commission directed the Nigerian Stock Exchange to place the shares of Oando Plc on technical suspension.”
“The Commission’s primary role as apex regulator of the Nigerian Capital Market is to regulate the market and protect the investing public. The Commission notes that the above findings are weighty and therefore needs to be further investigated. After due consideration, the Commission believes that it is necessary to conduct a forensic audit into the affairs of Oando Plc. This is pursuant to the statutory duties of the Commission as provided in section 13(k), (n), (r) and (aa) of the ISA 2017”.
“…in view of the fact that it is not technologically feasible for the Exchange to effect a technical suspension except after 48 hours, the Commission directed as follows; effective for forty-eight (48) hours from today, 18 October 2017 to 20 October 2017, The Nigerian Stock Exchange should implement a full suspension in the trading of the shares of Oando Plc; and, effective from 20 October 2017 and until further directive, The Exchange should implement a technical suspension in the shares of Oando Plc.”
SEC disclosed that to ensure the independence and transparency of the exercise, the forensic audit will be conducted by a consortium of experts made up of auditors, lawyers, stockbrokers, and registrars.
Oando’s recent crisis had led to some shareholders attempting to disrupt its Annual General Meeting held in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State last month.
Although the AGM was reportedly disrupted by protesters for few minutes, the protesters reportedly chanted protest songs while asking for the resignation of the company’s Group Chief Executive, Wale Tinubu.
Shareholders of Oando had accused the present management of company of mismanagement and abuse of corporate governance.