Confusion Over Fresh Court Order on Suspended Oando AGM

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By Dipo Olowookere

There seems to be confusion over a fresh court order secured by a shareholder of Oando Plc concerning the suspension of the company’s Annual General Meeting (AGM).

In 2019, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) suspended the yearly shareholders’ meeting of Oando, preventing the energy firm from meeting its obligations of filing financial statements to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).

But on Tuesday, February 23, 2021, one Mr Patrick Ajudua claimed he obtained an order from Justice O. A Musa of the High Court of the FCT, Abuja, declaring the action of SEC, the apex regulator in the nation’s capital market, as illegal and unconstitutional.

It was reported that the court held that Mr Ajudua, as a member and shareholder of Oando, has a right and freedom of association and assembly with other shareholders and the right to receive information at the AGM.

Also, it was reported that a letter dated May 31, 2019, by SEC to Oando sanctioning its management was declared unconstitutional, null and void by the court because it was in violation of Mr Ajudua’s fundamental right to a fair hearing and his human right to receive information on the affairs of Oando and his interest and shares in Oando.

According to reports, the court set aside the directive of SEC suspending/postponing indefinitely the AGM of Oando because it was in violation, breach, and contravention of Mr Ajudua’s right and freedom of association and assembly with other shareholders and right to information from other shareholders and Oando Plc;

The shareholder was said to have obtained an order from the court restraining SEC and Oando from interfering with, disrupting, and or interfering with his constitutional right of association, assembly and right to receive information from other shareholders and members of Oando Plc at the postponed 2019 AGM.

He further received an order of injunction restraining SEC from acting and/or taking any steps pursuant to its letter of May 31, 2019, or interfering in any manner whatsoever with directors lawfully appointed him.

Also, Mr Ajudua was said to have secured an order directing Oando to convene and hold AGM within 90 days of the order of the court in compliance with the provisions of CAMA.

But SEC, in a statement made available to Business Post on Wednesday said it was not aware of the case or the judgment.

“The attention of the commission has been drawn to several publications in the social media, where it is reported that a shareholder of Oando Plc, purportedly obtained a judgment from the Federal Capital Territory High Court against the commission.

“The commission wishes to inform the general public that it was never at any time served with court processes with respect to the purported matter at the FCT High court.

“The commission will consequently take all necessary steps to verify and set aside the purported decision of the said court,” the statement signed by the management disclosed.

However, Mr Ajedua has described his action as “a win” for him and “all shareholders,” noting that, “The lingering delay in resolution of the conflict has brought untold hardship, financial difficulty and loss of capital appreciation on our investments.”

“Therefore, we receive this judgement with humility and the pray that with all hands on deck, we can move the company forward.

“We plead with the regulators to give peace a chance and allow for a harmonious resolution to the conflict.

“The shareholder community will continue to protect our investments by ensuring high compliance with the code of corporate governance and the integrity of the company’s operations in the capital market,” he added.

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