Oando Plc Shareholders have called on the Mr. Muhammadu Buhari to immediately dismiss the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun due to crisis in the firm caused by her interference in the nation’s capital market and “for unnecessarily meddling” with the functions of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which “has created some confidence crisis” in the capital market.
According to the National President of Trusted Shareholders Association of Nigeria (TSAN), Mukhtar Ismail Mukhtar, the National Coordinator, Proactive Shareholders Association (PROSAN), Mr. Taiwo Oderinde; and the Coordinator, Oando Shareholders Solidarity Group (OSSG), in a joint statement in Lagos on Sunday, the group said “that the Minister in her attempt to shield Oando from probe, has inevitably caused untold harm both to the independence of SEC and the Nigerian capital market.”
Their statement reads below:
“We wish to bring the attention of His Excellency President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and all Nigerians to the strange actions of the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun with regards to the probe of Oando Plc.”
“You may recall that since early last year, Oando has been enmeshed in series of crises bordering on abuse of corporate governance and alleged gross financial mismanagement.”
“The internal auditors of Oando Plc, Messrs Ernst & Young, in the company’s financial report last year expressed doubts over its ability to continue as a going concern because its liabilities exceeded its assets.”
“As concerned shareholders, we sent petitions to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and to the House of Representatives Committee on Capital Market.”
“The committee mandated SEC to investigate these allegations, culminating in the setting up of a committee by SEC to carry out a preliminary investigation of the company’s affairs.”
“SEC’s preliminary investigation, as disclosed by the Commission in a letter dated October 17, 2017 and signed by its Head of Legal unit, Braimoh Anastasia, unearthed several malpractices in the company. These include insider trading, decoration of dividends from unrealised profits, release of false financial statements to the public and the disposal of assets without the knowledge of the regulatory body in contravention of the Investment and Securities Act (ISA) 2007, among several other infractions.”
“These weighty findings compelled the suspension of Oando shares on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) and the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) to pave way for a more thorough investigation via a forensic audit ordered by SEC,” Mr. Taiwo Oderinde, the National Coordinator, Proactive Shareholders Association (PROSAN) said.
According to Oderinde, “unfortunately, the forensic audit has been stalled due to the interference by the Ministry of Finance to the detriment of Oando shareholders and the entire Nigerian capital market”
He alleged that the Ministry of suspended Munir Gwarzo and Dr Abdul Subair as SEC Director-General and Acting Director-General respectively because they resisted plans to shield the management of Oando from probe.