5 December 2017

Nigeria: SEC Renews Decision On Conduct of Oando Forensic Audit

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has renewed its resolutions on the conduct of a forensic exercise on the activities of Oando Plc.

The decision is contained in a letter dated December 5, 2017 addressed to Oando Plc and made available to The Guardian.

The letter, signed by the Acting Director-General of the commission, Abdul Zubair, stated that the forensic exercise would commence at any date from today, Wednesday, December 6, 2017.

The letter read: "Further to our letter to you dated November 27, 2017 and another letter to your lawyer dated November 28, 2017 wherein the commission has notified Oando Plc of its decision to go ahead with the forensic audit, the commission in the light of the recent development wishes to reiterate the following:

"That the commission is aware that suit No. FHC/L/CS/I601/17; Oando Plc vs SEC & ANOR was struck out on November 23, 2017 by his Lordship, Honorable Justice Aikawa of the Lagos Division of the Federal High Court;

"That the commission is not aware of the existence of any valid or subsisting order of court restraining the commission from proceeding with the forensic audit.

"While we acknowledge that a notice of appeal has been filed to challenge the judgment of the federal high court, this notice does not serve as an order of the court restraining the commission from conducting the exercise. We wish to restate that our forensic auditors had been directed to commence work since November 27, 2017 and as a result, shall be at your premises at any date from Wednesday, December 6, 2017. Kindly accord them necessary assistance."

Crises erupted in Oando Plc recently when aggrieved shareholders of the company, apparently worried about its future in view of some unresolved corporate governance issues relating to the group's financials, stormed the venue of the firm's yearly general meeting in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.

A letter read out by the leader of the shareholders, Clement Ebitimi, had accused the Oando management of mismanagement, following allegations of infractions filed against it by Ansbury Inc., and Alhaji Dahiru Mangal on Wednesday, October 18, 2017.

Subsequently, the NSE, with a directive from the SEC, announced the suspension of trading in the shares of Oando Plc from October 20, 2017 followed with a forensic audit of the company to the tune of N160 million.

Meanwhile, Oando has continued to set the pace for counterparts in the area of partnership aimed at supporting the development of the economy with the recent collaboration with African Artists' Foundation (AAF) to promote African art as well as socio-economic diversification through the month-long LagosPhoto Festival.

LagosPhoto Festival recently held its grand opening at the company's state-of-the-art head office, Oando Wings Office Complex, on November 25, 2017.

According to Oando, the programme will run till December 15, 2017 across various indoor and outdoor locations.

Head, Corporate Communications, Oando Plc, Alero Balogun, urged private sector to support initiatives like the

LagosPhoto Festival and other neglected sectors of the economy.


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