Finally, SEC asks Delloite to commence forensic audit of Oando Plc
by Onyinye Nwachukwu, Abuja
March 6, 2018 | 6:41 pm| | | Start Conversation
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has asked Deloitte toproceed with the long-awaited forensic audit of Oando Plc after the regulator was being accused of delaying the process.
This came a day after Oando, an indigenous oil firm withdrew the pending lawsuit against the Commission by an application heard and granted by the Court of Appeal on Monday.
An application for withdrawal by the shareholders was also earlier heard and granted by the Federal High Court on February 21, 2018.
“Following the dismissal and the striking out of the suits, the SEC has duly informed the firm of Deloitte to proceed with the forensic audit,” Abdul Zubair, SEC acting DG told journalists at a media briefing in Abuja.
SEC had in October last year directed the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) to suspend trading on Oando to enable it conduct a forensic audit into the affairs of Oando, following petitions received from shareholders of Oando Plc., and a whistleblower alleging that the company was financially being mismanaged.
SEC said then that it’s a comprehensive review of the petitions found a breach of the provisions of the Investments & Securities Act 2007; breach of the SEC Code of Corporate Governance for Public Companies; suspected insider dealing; suspected related party transactions not conducted at arm’s length and discrepancies in the shareholding structure of Oando Plc, among others.
The Commission later conducted a preliminary investigation of Oando Plc, based on those petitions, and according to Zubair, the Commission took steps to preserve shareholder value and protect the investing public, based on some of the findings, and consequently placed the company’s shares on technical suspension and further ordered a forensic audit of the affairs of the company.
“Subsequently, two lawsuits were respectively filed by Oando Plc., and some shareholders of Oando Plc, mainly to restrain the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) from effecting a technical suspension on the shares of Oando Plc and the SEC from appointing a team of forensic auditors to conduct a forensic audit of the company,” Zubair said at the press meeting.
“Oando Plc. has withdrawn the pending lawsuit against the Commission by an application heard and granted by the Court of Appeal on March 05, 2017. Also the application for withdrawal by the shareholders was heard and granted by the Federal High Court on February 21, 2018.”
The DG assured of the Commission’s committed to its primary mandate of protecting investors and will take all necessary steps to fulfil that mandate and uphold the integrity of the capital market.
We therefore wish to reassure the general public that following the removal of the legal impediments, the audit of Oando Plc., will proceed in a transparent and thorough manner.
Onyinye Nwachukwu, Abuja
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