SEC Commences Fresh Forensic Audit On OANDO Plc

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Alhaji Shehu Mallam Mikail, National President, Constance Shareholders Association of Nigeria, stated: "The immediate action from the newly appointed acting director general of SEC, Dr. Abdul Zubair, to continue with the forensic exercise on Oando Plc is a good one". The motion was titled, "The need to intervene in the ongoing conflict between finance minister and suspended SEC DG".

This commitment is contained in a letter dated December 5, 2017 addressed to Oando Plc.

The House asked the parties in the matter to maintain the status quo, pending the outcome of the investigation.

SEC also confirmed that though the court advised Oando Plc to approach the Securities Tribunal, it has not received any notification from any court stopping it from proceeding with the forensic audit.

The house said there are allegations of interference by the finance ministry in the operations of SEC. "Nothing less than a total inquiry into what happened in SEC is what is required and not only why the DG was suspended".

Speaking on the matter today, Chairman, Senate Committee on Capital Market, Mr Mustapha Bukar, said the forensic audit of Oando must go on.

SEC said it conducted a comprehensive review, which revealed massive breaches of the provisions of the Investments & Securities Act 2007 and the SEC Code of Corporate Governance for Public Companies.

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The suspension of Gwarzo by Adeosun last week had been linked to the forensic audit into the financial affairs of Oando Plc.

The statement from the Commission came on the heels of corruption allegation against three suspended staff, which are the former Director-General, Mounir Gwarzo, over N104 million severance package. We have to restore confidence of investors in the capital market and if the audit will achieve this, so be it.

"The conflict has allegedly lingered for several months between the Ministry of Finance and the Securities and Exchange Commission, but the matter of Oando disagreement brought it into public domain".

Consequently, the Commission announced the appointment of a consortium of experts, consisting auditors, lawyers, stockbrokers and registrars, to conduct the forensic audit, while shares of Oando Plc at the Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE were placed on temporary technical suspension. SEC & ANOR was struck out on November 23, 2017 by his Lordship Hon.

The Nigerian people should be told why the infractions of Oando will be swept under the carpet.

"While we acknowledge that a Notice of Appeal has been filed to challenge the judgement of the Federal High Court, this notice does not serve as an order of court restraining the commission from conducting the exercise".

Oando has repeatedly denied allegations that formed the basis of the two petitions that triggered SEC's investigation and the leading oil and gas company had insisted that where infractions had been committed, they did not warrant the call for forensic audit in line with extant rules and guidelines at the capital market.

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