….Want all management staff included
From Uche Usim, Abuja
Anxious shareholders of Oando Plc yesterday called for urgent commencement of forensic audit of the embattled oil company to save investors from more losses.
The shareholders on the platform of Nigeria Shareholders Solidarity Association (NSSA), said the investigation should be detailed and done “without any fear or favour”.
They also called on the auditors to investigate all management staff of the company, and that anybody found guilty should be prosecuted in line with laid down rules and regulations.
Speaking on behalf of the group, Alhaji Gbadebo Olatokunbo, said majority of shareholders are not happy with developments in the company.
Gbadebo, who is one of the Co-Founders of the group in 1985 said: “Anybody found guilty should be sanctioned for cheating on investors. They refused to pay the right returns on investment for sometime despite their several advantages as an on/off shores oil company”.
He added: “The God of the silent-majority is at work to avenge for the cheated retail shareholders of the company. I want to suggest that all the management staff of the company be probed”.
The call came as some brokers whose clients had lost substantial investments in Oando Plc, also at the weekend, advised the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to “ignore all forms of blackmails and intimidations”.
They urged the public, especially investors to give SEC all the necessary support, stressing that the allegation against the management of Oando must not be swept under the carpet through court injunctions as a cover.
According to an aggrieved stockbroker who preferred to remain anonymous, the order of court vacating the technical suspension placed on Oando’s shares by the NSE is all geared towards halting the justice process for shareholders who might have in one way or the other suffered losses.
According to him, removing the technical suspension will make investors suffer more losses as many will dump the shares immediately.
He said: “If they have nothing to hide, they should allow the forensic audit as directed by the Commission to take its full course and let Nigerians know who is at fault”, he stated. The broker explained that the Investment and Securities Act (ISA) clearly spells out all the rules guiding the market.
He added: “The records are there for people to see. The court can not save the management of the company. They must step down and be prepared for prosecution. The auditors’ report is there for all to see. The management of Oando Plc is just buying time”.
While stakeholders await the outcome of the Forensic Audit, SEC has revealed more details into the alleged unwholesome practices that prevailed in the organisation. The Commission added that its action was based on petition sent by shareholders.
Specifically, a committee raised by the Commission had observed alleged misstatements in the 2013 and 2014 Audited Financial statement of Oando Plc, arising from its OEPL transaction.
According to SEC, “Following the structuring of the OEPL transaction in contravention of the ISA 2007, Oando Plc recorded a profit of about N6 billion from the sale of OEPL that erased the operating loss of N4.68 billion leading to a profit of N1.4 billion for the year 2013.