Audit: Capital market operators fault Oando minority stakeholders’ stance

Some capital market operators have expressed dissatisfaction with Oando Plc minority stakeholders’ comparison of the company’s audit by Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) with that of the Ecobank Transnational Incorporated Plc (ETI).

The operators who spoke with newsmen in Lagos on Sunday, said that shareholders should be more concerned about Oando’s continuity.

Malam Garba Kurfi, the Managing Director, APT Securities and Funds Ltd., said that Oando’s issue and ETI were not related, arguing that Oando’s case was reported to SEC by a shareholder, while ETI’s case involved board members.

He added that Oando’s management was accused of insider dealings, while ETI’s issue had to with non-compliance to corporate governance.

According to him, Oando should ought to have gone to the Investment and Securities Tribunal (IST) to seek redress.

Also speaking, Mr Ambrose Omordion, Chief Operating Officer, InvestData Ltd., said that SEC as a capital market regulator, had the power to mediate and sanction any erring company.

Omordion also said that SEC conducted a forensic audit on Oando which he noted was different from the audit on ETI which had to do with corporate governance by its board of directors.

He said that it was members of ETI board who alerted SEC while Oando’s case was reported to SEC by a shareholder.

Omordion equally said that Oando should have tabled its case before IST.

Members of the Pragmatic Shareholders Association of Nigeria had recently claimed that SEC did not give Oando fair hearing.

They also said that Oando’s audit lacked due process unlike that of ETI.

The association asked SEC to share Deloitte’s forensic audit on Oando to enable the company to review it and defend itself accordingly.

SEC had on June 10 suspended till further notice, Oando’s AGM scheduled for June 11.

The suspension followed an order by a Federal High Court in Lagos due to an application made by the Group Chief Executive Officer of Oando Plc, Mr Adewale Tinubu, and his deputy, who were suspended by SEC on May 31.

In a statement in Lagos on June 10, SEC said it directed the suspension to allow parties involved in the suit to maintain status quo.

The commission said it would update relevant stakeholders and the general public on the outcome of the litigation.

SEC had on June 2, following the outcome of its forensic audit on Oando, constituted an interim management team to be headed by Mr Mutiu Sunmonu for the oil company.

It said that Sunmonu would oversee the affairs the company and conduct an extra ordinary general meeting on or before July 1, to appoint new board of directors.

SEC had in 2013 engaged KPMG to investigate ETI over allegations of breaches of corporate governance practices against its board of directors and certain principal officers.

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