OSSG says Oando not protecting interest of shareholders
Shareholders under the aegis of the Oando Shareholders Solidarity Group (OSSG) have faulted recent claims by the management of the company that it dragged the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to court to protect shareholders’ interest.
In a statement at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Oando stated that “no action taken thus far has been to undermine the authority of the SEC, but to protect the Company and its shareholders against the actions taken under the leadership of Mounir Gwarzo, the erstwhile Director General (DG) of the SEC.”
According to Oando in the statement at the NSE, “On Tuesday, December 5, 2017, the Securities and Exchange Commission officially notified the Company that a forensic audit into the affairs of Oando PLC (the Company) would commence on Wednesday, December 6, 2017. However, the external auditors appointed by the SEC are yet to approach the Company to commence the audit.”
Amid this development, the Oando Shareholders Solidarity Group described the claim by the company as “deceitful and a calculated attempt to stall SEC’s forensic audit” of the embattled company; adding that: “Majority shareholders are unhappy; minority shareholders are bewildered, so which shareholders’ interest are you protecting if not yours?”
“The report in question is in the public domain and accessible to every concerned stakeholder. This is obviously a deliberate move to twist the facts in the public domain” Ebitimi added.
Clement Ebitimi, South-South Coordinator of OSSG said “the present management of Oando has done more harm than good to the company and shareholders’ interest and do not deserve to continue in office a day longer”. The group said: “Contrary to the claim by the company that its recent actions were not intended to undermine the regulatory powers of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), it is clear that all actions taken so far have not only undermined the SEC; the company has also succeeded in drawing unnecessary negative attention to the Nigerian capital market.”
OSSG stated: “Let it be placed on record that the current management of Oando Nigeria Plc led by Wale Tinubu is not in any way protecting the interest of shareholders; both majority and minority. All shareholders of the company are angry, and frustratingly tired of this management that even the word disappointment cannot describe the discontent of shareholders. How can you claim to be protecting the interest of shareholders when you have consistently mismanaged the affairs of the company to the extent that the external auditors will cast a doubt on the going concern of the company? “
The OSSG Coordinator also said that SEC must proceed with, and conclude the forensic audit on Oando Plc started under its past Director-General of SEC to restore confidence in the capital market.
OSSG said, “Contrary to what the management of the company wants the public to believe, there is nowhere in the report that suggests or explicitly states that Oando Nigeria Plc satisfactorily responded to all issues raised in the investigation of its affairs. Rather, the report clearly corroborates the earlier statement from the SEC suspending trading of the company’s shares on the stock exchange for breach of the SEC Code of Corporate Governance; violation of different sections of the SEC Code of Corporate Governance; breach of ISA 2007; misstatements in the 2013 and 2014 audited financial statement of Oando Plc; breach of ISA on misleading information contained in Oando Plc’s Rights Issue Circular; breach of SEC Rules and Regulations on payment of dividends; independent auditor’s report expressing doubt over Oando’s existence as a going concern; suspected insider dealings; related party transactions; declaration of dividends from unrealised profits; and discrepancies in the company’s shareholding structure.
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