BY OUR EDITOR
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has ordered the Group Chief Executive Officer of Oando Plc Mr. Wale Tinubu and other unnamed board members to resign, following the conclusion of its investigation on the activities of the company.
In a statement today, the capital market regulator also said it barred Tinubu and the Deputy Group Chief Executive Officer of the company, Mr. Omamofe Boyo, from being directors of public companies for a period of five years.
It also directed the convening of an Extraordinary General Meeting of the company on or before July 1, 2019 to appoint new directors.
The Commission said these, among other sanctions, were part of measures to address identified violations in the company.
“Following the receipt of two petitions by the Commission in 2017, investigations were conducted into the activities of Oando Plc (a company listed on the Nigerian and Johannesburg Stock Exchanges).
“Certain infractions of securities and other relevant laws were observed. The Commission further engaged Deloitte & Touche to conduct a forensic audit of the activities of Oando Plc.
“The general public is hereby notified of the conclusion of the investigations 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, among others,” the Commission explained in its statement.
SEC also directed the 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.
It said as required under Section 304 of the Investments and Securities Act (ISA) 2007, it would refer all issues with possible criminality to the appropriate criminal prosecuting authorities.
The Commission stated that other aspects of the findings would be referred to the Nigerian Stock Exchange, Federal Inland Revenue Service, and the Corporate Affairs Commission.
“The Commission 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.
“Therefore, 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 statement advised.
According to the statement, the Commission 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.
Only yesterday, the National Industrial Court, Abuja, had ordered the immediate re-instatement of the suspended DG of the Commission, Mounir Gwarzo, to his position.
Justice Sanusi Kado, in his judgment, held that the minister of finance, named as the second defendant in the suit, lacked the power to suspend the claimant.
Even though Gwarzo was suspended based on allegation of financial impropriety against him, there were unconfirmed reports that his predicament at that time had to do with the investigation of OANDO by SEC. (RS with PUNCH report)