By Chinwendu Obienyi
As the current capital market standoff between the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Oando Plc persists, Nigerian regiulator has insisted that the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the company remains suspended till the deteºrmination of its cases and appeals.
The apex capital market regulator had in a statement at the weekend stated that all parties and relevant stakeholders are to maintain the status quo, which includes the suspension of the AGM, pending the determination of the cases and the appeals.
The SEC stated that its attention was drawn to media reports on the judgments against the Commission over its regulatory action on Oando Plc and several of its officers for severe breaches of capital market regulations, some of which are under criminal investigations.
It revealed that the Commission conducted investigations into the activities of Oando Plc and observed certain infractions and violations of securities laws by some members of the board of the company.
“To protect public interest and the integrity of the capital market, the commission sanctioned the company and the affected directors via its letter dated May 31, 2019.”
According to the SEC, one judgment of the Federal High Court, Lagos has held that the Federal High Court Nigeria lacks the jurisdiction to entertain the dispute as the jurisdiction lies with the Investments & Securities Tribunal (IST).
“Three judgments of the Federal High Court, Abuja had held that the Federal High Court Nigeria lacked the jurisdiction to entertain the dispute as the jurisdiction lies with the Investments & Securities Tribunal.
One judgment of the Federal Capital Territory, High Court Bwari Abuja has held that the Federal Capital Territory High Court Abuja has the jurisdiction to entertain the matter and granted the reliefs sought by the applicants. One judgment of the Federal High Court, Kano has held that the Federal High Court of Nigeria has the jurisdiction to entertain the dispute and granted the reliefs against the commission.”
SEC said, “In view of the conflicting judgments of the high court of coordinate jurisdiction, the commission hereby advises the public that in line with the law (please see Vaswani Trading Co. v. Savalakh & Co. (1972) NSCC 692 and Ojukwu v. Military Governor of Lagos State (1986) 1 NWLR (Pt 18) 621) and the pending appeals/applications for stay of the various judgments, parties and relevant stakeholders are enjoined to maintain status quo, which includes the suspension of the AGM, pending the determination of the cases and the appeals.”
The Commission thereafter said it will continue to update relevant stakeholders and the public on the outcome of the ongoing litigations.