Oando audit in ‘doubt’ as Emir Sanusi brokers peace

A key shareholder of Nigeria’s indigenous oil and gas firm, Oando PLC, has withdrawn his petition to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), following a peace deal with the oil firm’s chief executive officer, Wale Tinubu.
The decision has put in doubt the possibility of a proposed forensic audit of the company going forward.
Dahiru Mangal, a shareholder of the company in 2017 petitioned the SEC accusing management of the oil firm of gross misconduct.
Oando, in one of its responses to the petition had alleged that a proportion of shares owned by Mangal was acquired as a result of market manipulation and insider trading activities.
But the petition, together with another from Andsbury PLC, prompted the regulatory agency to suspend the shares of the company on the Nigerian bourse. SEC also ordered a forensic audit into the operations of the oil firm.
It was learnt that the former SEC director general, Mounir Gwarzo, was fired by the finance ministry to thwart the audit.
The new SEC management has yet to go ahead with the audit.
For weeks, officials have failed to explain to why the audit is still on hold.
A notice posted to the Nigerian bourse, on Monday, however, said that a ‘peace deal’ had been arrived at between Mangal and Tinubu following the intervention of the Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi.
The notice, signed by Oando’s Chief Compliance Officer/Company Secretary, Ayotola Jagun, and its Head of Corporate Communications unit, Alero Balogun, said that the company had been officially notified by Mangal that he was a substantial shareholder in the company.
“In accordance with the Companies and Allied Matters Act, Cap. C20 LFN 2004 (‘CAMA’) an individual or entity with direct / beneficial share ownership over 10% constitutes a substantial shareholder in the Company,” the notice said.
“In addition to confirming his status as a substantial shareholder, all the issues raised by Mangal in his petition to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) have been successfully addressed and clarified by the Company.”
The Company, the notice disclosed, has always encouraged oversight over its affairs by all shareholders.
According to the statement, Oando PLC’s Group Chief Executive, Wale Tinubu said: “I am pleased we have reached an amicable agreement with Dahiru Mangal and have satisfactorily addressed the concerns he raised in his petition to the SEC. We encourage him to exercise his rights as a shareholder and be more involved in oversight of the affairs of the Company. Shareholders must be confident in the operations of the company they are invested in; this can only occur through active participation.’’
Also commenting, the Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi, said that the development of the Nigerian economy is hinged on local participation, which makes it imperative for Nigerians to encourage indigenous participation.
“I have watched Wale Tinubu from his days in Ocean and Oil and I am extremely proud of his growth and the company he has built,” he was quoted to have said.
“Oando is proudly a Nigerian company whose impact has been positively felt by every Nigerian. The Company is evidence of the progress we have made from an IOC-led sector to one that is thriving with a mix of indigenous and international players.
On his part, Mangal was quoted to have withdrawn his petition to the SEC, saying that he had agreed to the peace accord.
He said, “I invested in Oando because I could see its potential. It is therefore with excitement that I concur to this Peace Accord signifying the renewal of our relationship; one that gives me more insight into the Company’s operations and aspirations and involves more dialogue.

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