SEC Vows To Conduct Forensic Audit on Oando

Oando concludes divestment of equity stake in downstream operations

Only a day earlier, an acting Director-General of the commission, Abdul Zubair, had been appointed to hold the fort in the absence of a substantive head.

The lawmaker, while moving the motion, said "the conflict has allegedly lingered for several months between the ministry of Finance and SEC, but the matter of Oando disagreement has brought it into public domain".

The letter of notice sent to Oando indicates that the audit will begin today, the 6th of December.

The legislators also asked the parties in the matter between SEC and the Minister of Finance to maintain status quo, pending the outcome of the investigation.

The Letter, titled "Re: Forensic Audit into the Affairs of Oando Plc", itemised the commission's position. "Nothing less than a total inquiry into what happened in SEC is what is required and not only why the DG was suspended".

Meanwhile, SEC said on Tuesday that it would go ahead with the forensic audit of Oando Plc.

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A letter obtained by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Abuja showed that SEC had written to the Group Chief Executive Officer of Oando, Mr Adewale Tinubu, notifying him of its decision to conduct a forensic exercise into the activities of Oando Plc.

SEC had explained that it carried out a comprehensive review of the petitions from Mangal and Ansbury and found a breach of the provisions of the Investments & Securities Act (ISA) 2007; breach of the SEC Code of Corporate Governance for Public Companies; suspected insider dealing; suspected related party transactions not conducted at arm's length; and discrepancies in the shareholding structure of Oando Plc, among others.

A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, penultimate week, struck out a case filed by Oando Plc seeking to stop SEC from conducting the forensic audit and also lift a technical suspension placed on its shares.

Crises erupted in Oando Plc recently when aggrieved shareholders of the company, apparently anxious about its future in view of some unresolved corporate governance issues relating to the group's financials, stormed the venue of the firm's yearly general meeting in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.

In specific terms, the Commission while ensuring market efficiency, accountability and transparency, will proceed with all regulatory matters now before it with all sense of objectivity and fairness, with the best interest of investors at the core of all considerations. We shareholders expect the forensic exercise to continue despite the suspension of Gwarzo.

The suspension of Mr. Gwarzo raised suspicion among stakeholders about the plan to audit Oando.

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