25 June 2019

Nigeria: SEC Opposes Joining of Oando in Tinubu's Suit

The counsel to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Anthony Idigbe (SAN), on Monday opposed an application seeking to join Oando Plc in a suit filed its Group Chief Executive Officer, Adewale Tinubu, and his deputy, Omamofe Boyo.

They duo are seeking enforcement of their fundamental rights before a Federal High Court in Lagos.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that SEC had on May 31 suspended the applicants from being directors of a company for five years.

The suspension followed alleged infractions.

On June 2, SEC further announced that it had set up an interim management team to be headed by Mutiu Sunmonu to oversee the affairs of Oando and conduct an extraordinary general meeting on or before July 1.

Dissatisfied with the decisions, the applicants filed an exparte application on June 3, seeking an interim order restraining SEC from effecting the decisions.

Justice Mojisola Olatoregun on same June 3, granted the interim orders.

The court restrained SEC, its servants or agents from taking any step concerning its letter dated May 31, in which it barred the applicants from being directors.

The court also restrained Mr Sunmonu from acting as the Head of Oando's interim management team, pending the hearing and determination of a substantive suit on the conflict.

The court urged the parties to maintain the status quo pending the determination of the substantive suit before Justice Ayokunle Faji, who, on June 13, slated hearing for Monday

On Monday, Tayo Oyetibo, appeared for the applicants, while Mr Idigbe appeared for SEC.

Yele Delano announced appearance as representing Oando.

He expressed the company's intention to be joined in the suit as well as seeking a consolidation of similar suits pending before the court.

Delano also sought an adjournment to enable him to file processes in the suit.

In response, Mr IIdigbe opposed the request on the grounds that it would pre-determine the respondent's case.

"My lord, this matter was adjourned today for hearing, and I am prepared to go on," he said.

He argued that granting the joinder application could pre-dertermine the case of the defence.

He, therefore, urged the court to refuse the application.

On his part, Mr Oyetibo argued in favour of the request for joining, and urged the court to allow the party seeking to be joined in the suit.

According to him, if the court refuses the application for joinder, and the party goes on appeal, the applicants will be affected.

The court adjourned the case until July 4, to hear arguments on the motion for consolidation.

It also fixed July 22 for hearing of the substantive suit.



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