Suspension of Trading of Oando’s Shares Unusual, SEC Says

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By Chineme Okafor in Abuja

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has said that the prolonged suspension of the shares of indigenous oil and gas company, Oando Plc, from trading on the floors of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) is unusual because there are lawsuits initiated by parties against the planned forensic audit of the company.

The SEC, in a statement it sent to THISDAY in Abuja Thursday, stated that typically, technical suspension of trading of shares on the floors of the NSE are done for short periods to stabilise the stock market, but that of Oando took longer than expected on account of the lawsuits from its shareholders and the company itself.

The suspension of Oando’s shares have reportedly been lifted, however, the SEC said its forensic audit on the firm would be ready soon, adding that the audit firm, Deloitte, has continued on its mandate.

“Share of Oando Plc were placed on technical suspension in October 2017 upon the announcement of forensic audit which aimed to protect investors as a short term measure. Suspensions are typically intended for a short period to ensure market stability and thereafter lifted to allow market dictates.

“However, the suspension of the shares of Oando Plc was prolonged due to several litigations by Oando and other shareholders contesting the propriety of the forensic audit and technical suspension,” said SEC.

It added: “All litigations have now been withdrawn, the independent forensic audit by Deloitte is ongoing and the preliminary result is expected.”