By Etuka Sunday
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) yesterday announced its decision to conduct a forensic audit into the affairs of Oando Plc, consequently, directed Nigerian Stock Exchange to place Oando’s shares on technical suspension for two days.
SEC said, the technical suspension of Oando’s shares would be effective for forty-eight (48) hours from 18 October 2017 to 20 October 2017.
The Commission’s decision followed petitions from Alhaji Dahiru Barau Mangal and Ansbury Incorporated alleging malpractices by Oando Plc.
SEC said, it “carried out a comprehensive review of the petitions and made the following findings amongst others; Breach of the provisions of the Investments & Securities Act 2007; Breach of the SEC Code of Corporate Governance for Public Companies; Suspected insider Dealing; Related party transactions not conducted at arm’s length; Discrepancies in the shareholding structure of Oando Plc. Etc.
The Commission’s primary role as apex regulator of the Nigerian Capital Market is to regulate the market and protect the investing public.
The Commission notes that the above findings are weighty and therefore needs to be further investigated.
SEC said in its circular that, “After due consideration, the Commission believes that it is necessary to conduct a forensic audit into the affairs of Oando Plc. This is pursuant to the statutory duties of the Commission as provided in section 13(k), (n), (r) and (aa) of the ISA 2017.
“To ensure the independence and transparency of the exercise, the Forensic Audit shall be conducted by a consortium of experts made up of auditors, lawyers, stockbrokers and Registrars.
“To further ensure that the interest of all shareholders of Oando Plc are preserved during the course of the exercise, the Commission directed the Nigerian Stock Exchange to place the shares of Oando Plc on technical suspension.
“However in view of the fact that it is not technologically feasible for the Exchange to effect a technical suspension except after 48 hours, the Commission directed as follows;
“Effective for forty-eight (48) hours from today, 18 October 2017 to 20 October 2017, The Nigerian Stock Exchange should implement a full suspension in the trading of the shares of Oando Plc; and Effective from 20 October 2017 and until further directive, The Exchange should implement a technical suspension in the shares of Oando Plc,” the circular said.