Oando gets court order against CEO, board removal

Oando

In a swift move to keep its board from being removed by the Nigerian Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, Oando has gotten a reprieve.

A Federal Court headed by Justice Mojisola Olatoregun sitting in Lagos granted the exparte motion restraining the “SEC, its servants or agents from taking any step concerning the commission’s letter dated May 31 in which it barred Tinubu and Boyo from being directors of a public company for five years.”

In a report by Guardian Newspaper, the judge also restrained the SEC ‘from imposing a fine of N91.13 million on Tinubu.’

Earlier today, the SEC ordered for an interim board headed by “Mr. Mutiu Olaniyi Adio Sunmonu CON, to oversee the affairs of Oando Plc, and conduct an Extra Ordinary General Meeting on or before July 1, 2019 to appoint new Directors to the Board of the Company, who would subsequently select a Management Team for Oando Plc.”

“The Commission wishes to reiterate its commitment to maintaining the integrity of the market,” the statement said.

The order to suspend Oando’s board came in last Friday, when Nigeria’s top capital market regulator said the impropriety it dug at Oando plc ranges “from poor board oversight, irregular approval of directors’ remuneration, unjustified disbursements to directors and management of the company, related party transactions not conducted at arm’s length, amongst others.”

The SEC ordered that:

  1. Resignation of the affected Board members of Oando Plc,
  2. The convening of an Extra-Ordinary General Meeting on or before July 1, 2019, to appoint new directors,
  3. Payment of monetary penalties by the company and affected individuals and directors,
  4. Refund of improperly disbursed remuneration by the affected Board members to the company,
  5. Bar of the Group Chief Executive Officer (GCEO) and the Deputy Group Chief Executive Officer (DGCEO) of Oando Plc from being directors of public companies for a period of five (5) years.

The SEC said it will also e referring the matter to the appropriate authorities for ” possible criminality to the appropriate criminal prosecuting authorities. In addition, other aspects of the findings would be referred to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), and the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).”

In a swift but brief response, Oando rebuffed all the allegations of the SEC claiming that:

“Oando is of the view that these alleged infractions and penalties are unsubstantiated, ultra vires, invalid and calculated to prejudice the business of the Company. The Company has not been given the opportunity to see, review and respond to the forensic audit report and so is unable to ascertain what findings (if any) were made in relation to the alleged infractions and defend itself accordingly before the SEC,”

The company threatened it will go ahead to:

“Take legal steps to protect its business and assets whilst remaining committed to act in the best interests of all its shareholders.”