By Modupe Gbadeyanka
The management of Oando Plc has maintained that the two petitions filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) alleging gross abuse of corporate governance and financial mismanagement lack merit.
In a statement issued on Monday, August 28, 2017 and posted on the website of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), the oil firm said it made the above submission because “the issues raised have received board, shareholder and where required SEC approval.”
In the statement, Oando, which reconfirm that SEC has since commenced an enquiry in response to the petitions, emphasised that it would “continue to fully co-operate with SEC in the discharge of its duties as the capital markets regulator.”
However, Oando Plc noted Ansbury Inc, one of the petitioners, “is not a shareholder of the Company, but a shareholder in a company domiciled in a jurisdiction outside Nigeria which in turn holds shares in a Nigerian investment company that is a shareholder in Oando.”
For the second petitioner, Alhaji Dahiru Mangal, the oil firm said, “is an individual who requested clarification from the SEC on issues which he could easily have obtained from the company and indicated in his petition to the SEC that he holds a 17.9 percent interest in Oando.
“However, based on the Company’s register of members, First Registrars Limited, he owns approximately 4 percent of Oando Plc’s shares in his personal capacity.
“He is yet to disclose beneficial ownership of 13.9 percent in accordance with Section 95 of the Companies and Allied Matters Act, Cap. C20 LFN 2004 (CAMA); failure to do so is a violation of CAMA and this has been flagged by the Company in writing to Alhaji Mangal and the SEC since Wednesday, 24th May, 2017.”
But Oando Plc stressed that “Other matters highlighted by the petitioners could have been directed to the company and would have received the necessary clarification.”
“From the SEC’s initial correspondence to the company to date, we have availed them with all documents requested, provided clarification on, and rebuttals to, the issues raised and await a speedy conclusion to the enquiry.
“The company will continue to fully co-operate with the SEC in the discharge of its duties as the capital markets regulator.
“As a public company listed on both the Nigerian and Johannesburg Stock Exchanges we will provide full disclosure of the outcome as soon as the SEC enquiry is completed.
“Oando’s Corporate Communications team is always available to respond to any enquiries by members of the public and media. The Company is concerned about media houses going public with false and misleading information. As a public and listed company, any false or misleading information has a materially adverse effect on the Company including but not limited to reputational damage, creating undue and to a certain extent illegal volatility in the share price and causing unfair losses to our shareholders.
“We therefore urge media houses to refrain and/or desist from further publications in future, without first verifying the accuracy of such facts from Oando,” the statement said.
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