SEC to Proceed with Forensic Probe into Oando Activities

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The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) On Tuesday restated its decision to proceed with a forensic audit into the activities of Oando Plc. The commission stated this a letter dated December 5, 2017 addressed to Oando Plc and signed the acting Director General, Dr. Abdul Zubair.

In the letter, obtained by THISDAY, SEC said: “Further to our letter to you dated November 27, 2017 and another letter to your lawyers dated November 28, 2017, wherein the commission had notified Oando Plc of its decision to go ahead with the forensic audit, the commission is in the light of recent development wishes to reiterate the following: That the commission is aware that Suit No: FHC/L/CS?160/17:Oando Plc v. SEC &Anor was struck out on November 23, 2017 by his lordship Hon, Justice Aikawa of the Lagos Division of the Federal High Court.”

The commission added it is not aware of the existence of any valid or subsisting order of court restraining it from proceeding with the forensic audit.

“While we acknowledge that a Notice of Appeal has been filed to challenge the judgment of the Federal High Court, this notice does not serve as an Order of Court restraining the Commission from conducting the exercise. We wish to restate that our forensic auditors had been directed to commence work since November 27, 2017 and as a result shall be at your premises on any date from Wednesday, December 6, 2017,” SEC said.

It assured the general public of its zero tolerance to infractions in the Nigerian capital market.

SEC had in October directed a forensic audit into the affairs of Oando following a probe into two petitions received from two shareholders of the company – Alhaji Dahiru Barau Mangal and Ansbury Inc.

SEC had explained that it had 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.

The suspension of the Director General of SEC, Mounir Gwarzo last week by the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, had been linked to the commission’s decision to probe Oando Plc’s activities.

This allegation has since been denied by the ministry, saying Gwarzo’s suspension was to make way for an unhindered investigation into allegations of financial impropriety levelled against him.