16 April 2018

Nigeria: Shareholders Demand Adeosun's Sack Over Oando Saga

Photo: Premium Times
Nigerian oil company, Oando.

Three shareholders' groups have call for the immediate sack of the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, for her unwholesome interference on the affairs of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

They described the minister's decision to reassigns portfolios in SEC as "unnecessarily meddling" with the functions of the commission, which has caused severe damage to the capital market.

Specifically, the National President of Trusted Shareholders Association of Nigeria (TSAN), Alhaji Mukhtar Ismail Mukhtar; the National Coordinator, Proactive Shareholders Association (PROSAN), Taiwo Oderinde; and the Coordinator, Oando Shareholders Solidarity Group (OSSG), in a joint statement on Sunday, said Adeosun has inevitably caused untold harm both to the independence of SEC and the nation's capital market in her desperate attempt to shield Oando from probe.

The statement reads: "We wish to bring the attention of His Excellency President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and all Nigerians to the unwholesome, unpatriotic and strange actions of the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun with regards to the probe of Oando Plc."

Speaking on behalf of the groups, Oderinde said: "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 preliminarily investigation, as disclosed by the commission in a letter dated October 17, 2017 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 and the Johannesburg Stock Exchangeto pave way for a more thorough investigation."

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