Oando Shareholders Chide Adeosun over Alleged Interference in Forensic Audit

  • Urge Buhari to respond, ask minister, Tinubu to resign

James Emejo in Abuja

Shareholders of Oando Nigeria Plc thursday expressed their displeasure with the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi. Adeosun, over her alleged interference in the forensic audit of the company by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Specifically, the shareholders expressed their frustration over the recent suspension of Mr. Munir Gwarzo as the Director General of the commission.

They particularly raised concerns that his suspension came even as the nation’s capital market was said to have witnessed increased activities since the assumption of Gwarzo as the commissions helmsman.

The Chairman, Trusted Shareholders’ Association, Alhaji Mukhtar Mukhtar, told journalists at a briefing that Gwarzo’s disdain for market infractions is known to many observers as he had confronted several big investment firms, listed companies and their directors with both civil and criminal cases, some of which are still pending in courts.

He said the shareholders fear his suspension, after a Federal High Court had thrown out the case instituted by the Oando management led by Adewale Tinubu, was a ploy to frustrate the investigation and provide a soft-landing for the company.
The firm’s investors also called for the resignation of Adeosun as minister and Tinubu as the Group Chief Executive of company.

Mukhtar said: “Kemi Adeosun must resign or be sacked because she has elected to be the tool for the prevention of the investigation into Oando Nigeria Plc to save investors from the current uncertainties. She is clearly no longer fit to be the Minister of Finance; she can choose to join the management of Oando Nigeria Plc as a full staff since she’s already acting for the company.
Kemi Adeosun must resign, Adewale Tinubu must resign and the forensic audit into Oando Nigeria Plc must continue.”

According to him: “Gwarzo should not be suspended because of his refusal to discontinue investigation into a dying company like Oando, whose management is making frantic efforts to prevent a comprehensive audit of its account.”

He said: “Tinubu must step aside to allow for unhindered forensic audit into the weighty allegations against the company.”

The shareholders further called on President Muhammadu Buhari to be aware of the issues at stake as the world was waiting to see how the investigation evolves.

Mukhtar said: “This is an opportunity for observers to ascertain the commitment of regulators to protecting shareholders and the investing public without unwarranted interference.

“Shareholders are suffering because of the mismanagement of their investments; Oando Nigeria Plc is currently running on debts; the liability of the company are precariously more than its assets. Both current liabilities and long-term liabilities stood at over N799 billion…”

He said: “If left to remain this way, the company may cease to exist. As it stands, with the ongoing confiscation of the company’s assets by creditors, soon, banks may take over the whole company as we’ve seen in the case of Etisalat if nothing drastic is done.”