Uche Usim, Abuja
Following the recent dissolution of the board of Oando Plc, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has constituted an interim management team for the embattled oil firm headed by Mr Mutiu Olaniyi Adio Sunmonu.
The new team is to oversee the affairs of Oando Plc and conduct an Extraordinary General Meeting on or before July 1 to appoint new Directors to the Board of the Company, who would subsequently select a management team for Oando.
The move, according to the Commission, is to maintain the integrity of the capital market.
The SEC wielded the big stick last weekend after it finally concluded forensic investigations of Oando Plc over underhand dealings.
It directed, among others, the resignation of the affected board members and barred the company’s Group Chief Executive Officer (GCEO), Mr Wale Tinubu, and his Deputy Group Chief Executive Officer (DGCEO), Omamofe Boyo, from being directors of public companies for a period of five years.
SEC’s decision has been described as a most soothing and welcome development by the shareholders of the company who have relentlessly protested against the board remaining in place when a forensic audit was ongoing.
SEC also directed the convening of an Extraordinary General Meeting on or before July 1 to appoint new directors.
These, among other moves, SEC stated, are part of measures to address identified violations in the company.
According to SEC, “Following the receipt of two petitions by the Commission in 2017, investigations were conducted into the activities of Oando Plc (a company listed on the Nigerian and Johannesburg Stock Exchanges).
“Certain infractions of Securities and other relevant laws were observed. The Commission further engaged Deloitte & Touche to conduct a Forensic Audit of the activities of Oando Plc.
“The general public is hereby notified of the conclusion of the investigations of Oando Plc. The findings from the report revealed serious infractions such as false disclosures, market abuses, misstatements in financial statements, internal control failures, and corporate governance lapses stemming 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.”
SEC also directed the payment of monetary penalties by the company and affected individuals and directors, and refund of improperly disbursed remuneration by the affected board members to the company.
As required under Section 304 of the Investments and Securities Act, (ISA) 2007, the Commission said it would refer all issues with possible criminality to the appropriate criminal prosecuting authorities.
In addition, the SEC stated that 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).
“The Commission is confident that with the implementation of the above directives and introduction of some remedial measures, such unwholesome practices by public companies would be significantly reduced.
“Therefore, in line with the Federal Government’s resolve to build strong institutions, boards of public companies are enjoined to properly perform their fiduciary duties as required under extant securities laws,” the statement added.