BY NKECHI NAECHE—-Less than a week after the suspension of the former Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission( SEC), Mr. Mounir H. Gwarzo, the commission on Tuesday reiterated its readiness to conduct a Forensic Exercise into the activities of Oando Plc.
This commitment is contained in a letter dated December 5, 2017 addressed to Oando Plc.
The Commission wishes to assure the general public of its zero tolerance to infractions in the Nigerian Capital Market.
It would be recalled that following a comprehensive review of the petitions of Alhaji Dahiru Barau Mangal and Ansbury Incorporated over abuse of corporate governance and financial mismanagement, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) last month ordered a forensic audit into the affairs of Oando Plc.
This is just as the regulator has directed the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) to place the shares of Oando Plc. on technical suspension effective from October 20, 2017, until further directive.
In a circular SEC issued to the general public on Oando Plc. and made available to Business Today Online thus reads: “The Securities and Exchange Commission received two petitions from Alhaji Dahiru Barau Mangal and Ansbury Incorporated. The Commission carried out a comprehensive review of the petitions and made the following findings, amongst 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 and discrepancies in the shareholding structure of Oando Plc., among others.”
SEC noted that the Commission’s primary role as apex regulator of the Nigerian capital market was to regulate the market and protect the investing public.
“The Commission notes 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,” it noted.
SEC said that 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 interests of all shareholders of Oando Plc. are preserved during the course of the exercise, the Commission also directed the NSE 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: Effective for 48 hours from yesterday, October 18, 2017 to October 20, 2017, The Nigerian Stock Exchange should implement a full suspension in the trading of the shares of Oando Plc. and effective from October 20, 2017 and until further directive, The Exchange should implement a technical suspension in the shares of Oando Plc.”