The embattled management of Oando Plc has accused the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of not giving the company fair hearing before dissolving its board of directors and appointing an interim management to oversee its operations.
In its complaints to SEC, Oando claimed that the industry regulator did not give its management fair hearing in arriving at the decision. SEC had said that following the receipt of two petitions by the commission in 2017, investigations were conducted into the activities of Oando (a company listed on the Nigerian and Johannesburg Stock Exchanges).
The regulator had said that certain infractions of securities and other relevant laws were observed. The commission added that it further engaged Deloitte & Touche to conduct a forensic audit on the activities of Oando.
In a press statement issued on its website, the oil firm said that 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. The severity of the penalties and the timing of the release have roused public curiosity as to the motive and the basis for the penalties,” it said.
“Businesses such as Oando have contributed immensely to boosting the Nigerian capital market index since its inception as well as attracting foreign direct investments (FDIs) into the country.
“The company’s contribution to the economy under the leadership of the said management which has been advised to resign cannot be overlooked,’’ it said.
However, SEC said that as the apex regulator of the Nigerian capital market, it maintains its zero tolerance for market infractions and reiterated its commitment to ensuring the “fairness, integrity, efficiency and transparency of the securities market thereby strengthening investor protection.”