Corporate infractions: SEC to partner with FIRS, NSE, others

Securities and Exchange Commission plans to share findings from the forensic audit of Oando Plc with other regulatory agencies, IFEANYI ONUBA reports

Following the regulatory intervention of the Securities and Exchange Commission in the affairs of Oando Plc over alleged sundry abuses; the commission plans to refer the alleged abuses to other regulatory bodies.

The alleged abuses include corporate governance lapses, insider abuse, internal control failure, and capital market abuse while the reference regulatory bodies are the Federal Inland Revenue Service, the Corporate Affairs Commission and the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

SEC had on May 31 ordered Oando’s Group Chief Executive Officer, Mr Wale Tinubu, and other affected board members to resign.

SEC’s action followed an investigation that allegedly found evidence of financial infractions by the company.

However, the company in its response said that the alleged infractions and penalties were unsubstantiated, ultra vires, invalid and calculated to prejudice the business of the company.

The oil firm said it had not been given the opportunity to see, review and respond to the forensic audit report and so was unable to ascertain what findings (if any) were made in relation to the alleged infractions and defend itself accordingly before SEC.

SEC announced on June 2 that it had set up an interim management team to oversee the affairs of the company and conduct an extraordinary general meeting on or before July 1 to appoint new directors who would subsequently select a management team for the company.

However, the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos granted an interim injunction on June 3 following an application by Oando’s GCEO and his deputy restraining SEC from executing the sanctions.

Also, a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos on June 24 adjourned till July 22 the case brought by Oando Plc to stop the commission from replacing its chief executive officer and making changes in the management team.

Findings by our correspondent revealed that the infractions identified by the forensic audit report on Oando Plc would be referred to the FIRS, CAC, and NSE for further action.Documents sighted by our correspondent showed that the commission would be referring the alleged violation involving the over-deduction of withholding tax on dividend paid to shareholders in 2014 to the FIRS.The document read in part, “There were several corporate governance lapses stemming from poor board oversight. These include irregular approval of directors’ remuneration, directors’ participation in matters in which they had declared interest, unjustified disbursements to directors and […]

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