The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), has ordered Oando Plc‘s Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Wale Tinubu to resign from his position over serious infractions including false disclosures, market abuses, amongst others.
SEC’s hammer: In a statement obtained by Nairametrics, the regulator disclosed that it has also barred Tinubu alongside his deputy, Omamofe Boyo from being directors of any quoted company for the next five years.
- Resignation of the affected Board members of Oando Plc
- The convening of an Extra-Ordinary General Meeting on or before July 1, 2019, to appoint new directors
- Payment of monetary penalties by the company and affected individuals and directors,
- Refund of improperly disbursed remuneration by the affected Board members to the company.
- Bar of the Group Chief Executive Officer (GCEO) and the Deputy Group Chief Executive Officer (DGCEO) of Oando Plc from being directors of public companies for a period of five (5) years.
Prosecution to follow: SEC did not just stop there. The Commission also stated that it will “refer all issues with possible criminality to the appropriate criminal prosecuting authorities.” These are the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), and the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).
Oando’s response: The company shot back claiming that SEC’s “alleged infractions and penalties are unsubstantiated, ultra vires, invalid and calculated to prejudice the business of the Company.” It also claimed SEC did not give it an “opportunity to see, review and respond to the forensic audit report and so is unable to ascertain what findings (if any) were made in relation to the alleged infractions and defend itself accordingly before the SEC.”
Back story: A shareholder battle ensued in Oando about two years ago after its directors Gabriel Volpi co-founder of Intel’s Plc and Northern businessman Alhaji Dahiru Mangal accused the company’s management of financial recklessness and denying them adequate representation on the board.
- They also requested that SEC suspend the company’s Annual General Meeting. Oando denied it, following which SEC launched an investigation. SEC went ahead to announce it was conducting a forensic investigation on Oando in October 2017.
- Oando then took the case to court alleging that SEC does not have the powers to investigate its affairs and went to the court requesting a restraint of SEC from the courts.
- As Oando battled with SEC, the Minister of Finance suspended the DG, Mr Mounir Gwarzo accusing him of financial impropriety when he was SEC Commissioner, an accusation Gwarzo denied.
- The Minister, Kemi Adeosun eventually resigned following a media leak about her NYSC status.
- Just this week the court ordered the reinstatement of Gwarzo as SEC DG a stark coincidence as SEC’s press release was issued a two days after.
Saga Continues: The Oando vs Volpi vs Mangal vs SEC saga has just entered a new turn which could involve several lawsuits. Oando’s Wale Tinubu has fought many battles and will surely go down fighting. This is also a case that might be settled politically considering how high the stakes are.