By Dipo Olowookere
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has been given two weeks to complete its investigations into petitions against one of the leading oil and gas firms in Nigeria, Oando Plc.
On Tuesday, the House of Representatives Committee on Capital Market and Institutions held a closed door meeting with the Director-General of SEC, Mr Mounir Gwarzo, on the matter.
Recall that Ansbury Inc. and Mangal wrote petitions to the capital market regulator, alleging the board of Oando Plc led by Mr Wale Tinubu, of gross financial misconduct.
The two parties had earlier wanted SEC to stop the 40th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the firm, but the regulator, after a panel report, said it found no reason to suspend the AGM.
The meeting eventually held in Uyo, Akwa Ibom on Monday, September 11, 2017, and shareholders voted to retain Mr Tinubu as Group Chief Executive.
After yesterday’s closed door meeting, Deputy Chairman of the House Committee on Capital Market and Institutions, Mr Tony Nwulu, informed newsmen that SEC has been given a two-week ultimatum to close out its investigations on Oando and report back to it.
“We just finished our meeting. SEC has set up a committee to look into the ongoing issues. We believe that the committee will come up with their recommendations.
“The House Committee on Capital Market has given them two weeks to come up with that report,” the lawmaker said.
At the start of the hearing, the Committee Chairman asked that all media and other third parties to step out of the room to allow the ongoing enquiry be discussed in private with the DG of the SEC.
The strict timeline that the Committee has given for the enquiry to be concluded is another positive as this case has dragged on for nearly five months and played out in the media for three months, in that time Oando shareholders have seen a significant loss in the value of their shares.
Meanwhile, some shareholders of Oando Plc have expressed satisfaction with the latest development.
According to an anonymous shareholder, who was hoping to sit in on the hearing, “I am hopeful that this new development will help resolve the issue in favour of all shareholders of the company, as we all want to see a conclusion that is in the interests of both we the shareholders and the future of the company.’’
It was gathered that some people claiming to be shareholders of the company attempted to protest outside the National Assembly complex but they were advised to utilize the formal process for making complaints to the House Committee.
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