Mary Uduak, Acting DG,SEC

The securities exchange commission, SEC, has directed Oando Plc, a leading indigenous oil and gas company listed on the bourse to hold extra ordinary meetings in one month to appoint new directors.  

In the press release made available to the MarketForces, SEC noted that following the receipt of two petitions by the Commission in 2017, investigations were conducted into the activities of Oando Plc with dual listing on the Nigerian and Johannesburg Stock Exchanges.

It said that certain infractions of Securities and other relevant laws were observed. The Commission notified that it engaged Deloitte & Touché to conduct a Forensic Audit of the activities of Oando Plc.

The findings from the report revealed serious infractions such as false disclosures, market abuses, misstatements in financial statements, internal control failures, and corporate governance lapses stemming from poor board oversight, irregular approval of directors’ remuneration, unjustified disbursements to directors and management of the company, related party transactions not conducted at arm’s length, amongst others.

SEC said that as part of measures to address these violations, the Commission has directed resignation of the affected Board members of Oando Plc. It also asked that the company should convene Extra-Ordinary General Meeting on or before July 1, 2019, to appoint new directors.

In addition, it requires payment of monetary penalties by the company and affected individuals and directors, and refund of improperly disbursed remuneration by the affected Board members to the company

The apex regulator in the Nigeria’s capital market also bar of the Group Chief Executive Officer (GCEO) and the Deputy Group Chief Executive Officer (DGCEO) of Oando Plc from being directors of public companies for a period of five (5) years.

“As required under Section 304 of the Investments and Securities Act, (ISA) 2007, the Commission would refer all issues with possible criminality to the appropriate criminal prosecuting authorities. In addition, other aspects of the findings would be referred to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), and the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC)”, SEC stated.

The Commission noted that it is confident that with the implementation of the above directives and introduction of some remedial measures, such unwholesome practices by public companies would be significantly reduced.

It advised that; in line with the Federal Government’s resolve to build strong institutions, Boards of public companies are enjoined to properly perform their fiduciary duties as required under extant securities laws.

“The Commission, as the apex regulator of the Nigerian capital market, maintains its zero tolerance to market infractions, and reiterates its commitment to ensuring the fairness, integrity, efficiency and transparency of the securities market, thereby strengthening investor protection”, SEC stated.

SOURCEOgochi Ndubuisi
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