Uche Usim, Abuja
The Consolidated Capital Market Stakeholders Forum (CCMSF), an industry pressure group has frowned at insinuations in some quarters that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) was unfair to Oando Plc in the forensic audit report released recently.
The SEC had recently wielded the big hammer against Wale Tinubu, banning him and his deputy, Omamofe Boyo from being directors of any publicly quoted company for five years.
The duo was punished over infractions committed as leaders of Oando Plc.
SEC also demanded the resignation of Tinubu and other board members and the convening of an extra-ordinary general meeting before July 1 to appoint new directors.
In a statement signed by Umar Usman, President of the Group, they noted with great concern, the piles of rot uncovered in the company and the verdict of SEC and concomitant punishment were on point.
According to Umar, “the Oando issue was a forensic audit, ETI was corporate governance audit. The scopes were totally different; they were not the same. It is laughable that they are being compared.
Also, during the ETI investigation, it is on record that the ETI management and board co-operated with SEC, they did not take SEC to court to stop the investigation, they did not publish things about SEC in papers like we are seeing now”.
“Remember when this audit was to commence initially, Oando took SEC to court and that initially delayed the entire process. The management too were not co-operative from the beginning. With ETI, the management co-operated from the beginning of the investigation till the end.
Umar said in the Oando case the auditors engaged the management, which they resisted initially, adding that it was much later that the forensic audit was allowed to go on.
“After they had taken SEC to court and questioned our powers to carry out the audit. The forensic audit corroborated the investigation earlier conducted so they had every opportunity to have presented their facts. They seem to suggest that unless their explanation is accepted, it is not fair gassing. They had opportunity to give explanations entitled was not satisfactory
“The chairman and MD of ETI had to leave their positions in their time, they did not question SEC. they left and did not take SEC to court to question its powers. The same way Oando has given explanation and these are not satisfactory. They cannot insist that SEC must follow what they are saying. They had presented explanations, but SEC was not satisfied and went ahead to take action, after their removal, they never went to court to say that SEC does not have the powers
On the issue of Administrative Proceedings Committee, APC, not being in place in SEC, Umar advised those peddling such information to go through the relevant laws properly as the law does not state that APC must be convened before companies are sanctioned as the choice of APC is at the discretion of Management.