By Damola Emmanuel
The Securities and Exchange Commission of Nigeria, SEC, has concluded its investigation of energy provider, OANDO PLC, and sacked its governing board.
The apex regulatory institution of the Nigerian capital market, supervised by the Federal Ministry of Finance, via a statement on Friday, ordered that the affected board members to resign.
The commission barred the Group Chief Executive Officer, CEO, Mr. Wale Tinubu, and the Deputy CEO, Mr. Omamofe Boyo for five years.
That’s not all, the SEC also directed the convening of an emergency general meeting or extraordinary general meeting, EGM, before July 1, 2019, to appoint new directors.
The commission also ordered the payment of monetary penalties by OANDO to affected individuals and directors, and refund all improperly disbursed remunerations.
Besides, SEC also announced that, in accord with Section 304 of the Investments and Securities Act (ISA) 2007, all issues with possible criminality will be reported to the appropriate prosecuting authority for necessary action.
It add that other aspects of its findings in the OANDO investigation would be referred to the Nigerian Stock Exchange, Federal Inland Revenue Service, and the Corporate Affairs Commission.
The SEC delivered these landmark decisions in the following words: “Following the receipt of two petitions by the Commission in 2017, investigations were conducted into the activities of Oando Plc (a company listed on the Nigerian and Johannesburg Stock Exchanges).
“Certain infractions of securities and other relevant laws were observed. The Commission further engaged Deloitte & Touche to conduct a forensic audit of the activities of Oando Plc.
“The general public is hereby notified of the conclusion of the investigations of Oando Plc.
“The findings from the report revealed serious infractions such as 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 apex regulatory institution of the Nigerian capital market also: “The Commission is confident that with the implementation of the above directives and introduction of some remedial measures, such unwholesome practices by public companies would be significantly reduced.
“Therefore, in line with the Federal Government’s resolve to build strong institutions, boards of public companies are enjoined to properly perform their fiduciary duties as required under extant securities laws.”
Concluding the statement, SEC said it maintains zero tolerance to market infractions. It reiterated its commitment to ensuring the fairness, integrity, efficiency and transparency of the securities market, thereby strengthening investor protection.