By Benjamin Umuteme
Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has insisted that it would not back down in its decision to conduct a forensic exercise into the activities of Oando Plc.
In a statement signed by SEC management, the Commission in a letter dated December 5, 2017, and addressed to Oando Plc. assured Nigerians that it would continue to protect the Nigerian Capital Market.
“The Commission wishes to assure the general public of its zero tolerance to infractions in the Nigerian Capital Market,” the statement said.
It will be recalled that SEC management under former Director-General, Mounir Gwarzo, had initiated the forensic audit of Oando following two petitions from concerned shareholders, Dahiru Mangal and Ansbury Incorporated, over alleged mismanagement of the company’s financial affairs and distortion of its shareholding structure.
Following the petition, SEC said it conducted a comprehensive review, which revealed massive breaches of the provisions of the Investments & Securities Act 2007 and the SEC Code of Corporate Governance for Public Companies.
Consequently, the Commission announced the appointment of a consortium of experts, consisting auditors, lawyers, stockbrokers and registrars, to conduct the forensic audit, while shares of Oando Plc at the Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE were placed on temporary technical suspension.
The technical suspension is still in place, meanwhile, trading on Oando stock is still allowed, there will not be any price changes.
Last week, the oil firm also lost a bid to stop the forensic audit planned by SEC as a Federal High Court ruled against it.
However, Dr. Gwarzo was subsequently suspended following allegations of financial impropriety level against him. Also suspended alongside Gwarzo are the Head of Public Affairs and the Head of Legal Services of the Commission.