JOHANNESBURG – NIGERIAN police on Monday stormed the head office of beleaguered JSE and Nigerian Stock Exchange-listed Oando after the Nigerian Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) ruling that the board and executive be barred from participating in the company’s activities on Friday.
The commission stipulated fines against the oil and gas company for infractions uncovered in a two-year investigation.
The SEC on Sunday night announced that it had set up an interim management team to oversee the affairs of Oando, following the order that group chief executive Wale Tinubu and other affected board member should resign.
The directive was followed by yesterday morning’s raid, which led to staff returning home after finding the workplace swarming with police.
“We got a message late last night about the interim management. So for the safety of staff, because we are not sure of the way things will go, we did not come to the office,” an anonymous staff member was quoted as saying yesterday.
Oando said it intended to challenge the SEC ruling, which essentially directs for a board and executive shake-up along with hefty fines for infractions uncovered in the investigations.
These include false disclosures, market abuses, misstatements in financial statements, internal control failures, and corporate governance lapses stemming from poor board oversight, irregular approval of directors’ remuneration, unjustified disbursements to directors and management of the company, related party transactions not conducted at arm’s length, among others.
The SEC had ruled on the resignation of the affected board members of Oando, 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 and the barring of the group chief executive and the deputy group chief executive of Oando from being directors of public companies for a period of five years.
“Oando is of the view that these alleged infractions and penalties are unsubstantiated, ultra vires, invalid and calculated to prejudice the business of the company,” it said.
The NEC said investigations into Oando stemmed from receipt of two petitions by the commission in 2017, and investigations were conducted into the activities of Oando.
Oando shares closed unchanged at 27 cents on the JSE on Monday.