By Chinenye Anuforo
Following the three-weeks ultimatum given to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) by the House Committee on Capital Market and Institutions to investigate allegations of financial impropriety and mismanagement of Oando Plc, the Commission has directed the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) to place the shares of Oando Plc on technical suspension.
According to SEC, the Commission received two petitions from Alhaji Dahiru Barau Mangal and Ansbury Incorporated and after it carried out a comprehensive review of the petitions made the following findings among others;
Breach of the provisions of the Investments & Securities Act 2007, Breach of the SEC Code of Corporate Governance for Public Companies
Suspected insider Dealing
Related party transactions not conducted at arm’s length Discrepancies in the shareholding structure of Oando Plc. Etc.
The SEC in a circular made available to the general public stated that the Commission’s primary role as apex regulator of the Nigerian Capital Market is to regulate the market and protect the investing public. And so, the Commission noted that the above findings are weighty and therefore needs to be further investigated.
“After due consideration, the Commission believes that it is necessary to conduct a forensic audit into the affairs of Oando Plc. This is pursuant to the statutory duties of the Commission as provided in section 13(k), (n), (r) and (aa) of the ISA 2017.
To ensure the independence and transparency of the exercise, the Forensic Audit shall be conducted by a consortium of experts made up of auditors, lawyers, stockbrokers and Registrars.
To further ensure that the interest of all shareholders of Oando Plc are preserved during the course of the exercise, the Commission directed the Nigerian Stock Exchange to place the shares of Oando Plc on technical suspension.
However in view of the fact that it is not technologically feasible for the Exchange to effect a technical suspension except after 48 hours, the Commission directed as follows; 1). Effective for forty-eight (48) hours from today, October 18, 2017 to 20 October 2017, The Nigerian Stock Exchange should implement a full suspension in the trading of the shares of Oando Plc; and 2). Effective from October 20, 2017 and until further directive, The Exchange should implement a technical suspension in the shares of Oando Plc.