By Lukman Olabiyi
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) yesterday urged the Federal High Court, Lagos, to dismiss a motion filed by Oando Plc, seeking preservative orders challenging the technical suspension imposed on its shares.
The apex market regulator had placed technical suspension on trading in the shares of the oil firm on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), but Oando went to the court to challenge the decision.
Oando wants the court to grant the injunction pending the outcome of an appeal it lodged against the transfer of the suit to the Investment and Securities Tribunal (IST) by the judge.
Justice Rilwan Aikawa had in a ruling on November 23, struck out Oando’s suit, saying he has no jurisdiction to entertain it. The judge said the appropriate forum for the oil firm to ventilate its grievances is the Investment and Securities Tribunal (IST).
Dissatisfied with the ruling, Oando, through its lawyer, Seyi Sowemimo (SAN), went before the Court of Appeal insisting that the Federal High Court, rather than the IST, was the appropriate forum to hear the case. The oil firm equally filed a motion before the lower court seeking an injunction to preserve the ‘res’ pending the final determination of its appeal.
Arguing a counter-affidavit filed by the apex market regulator against Oando’s motion, SEC’s lawyer, Chief Anthony Idigbe (SAN), noted that a motion for injunction calls for the exercise of the court’s jurisdiction.
He argued that for the motion to scale through, the applicant (Oando Plc) must show exceptional circumstances on why it thinks the court has jurisdiction to entertain it. The silk was of the view that the court had already delivered a declarative judgement in the matter and that there was nothing again to be stayed.