Resolve Oando-Ansbury Controversy to Restore Investor Confidence, SEC Urged

Resolve Oando-Ansbury Controversy to Restore Investor Confidence, SEC Urged

Securities and Exchange Commission Some market operators have called on the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to resolve all issues surrounding Oando Plc and Ansbury Investment Limited controversy, saying the delay was affecting investors’ interest in Oando Plc shares in particular and the market generally.

The calls came on the heels of a ruling delivered by London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) on July 6, 2018, where it issued an award against Ocean and Oil Development Partners (OODP) BVI (who through their holding company Ocean and Oil Development Partners (OODP) Nigeria Limited own 55.96 per cent equity in Oando Plc and Whitmore Asset Management Limited (owned by Wale Tinubu and Mofe Boyo) to jointly pay a total sum of US$680 million to Ansbury Investments Limited (owned by Mr. Gabriele Volpi).

The above judgement arose out of a dispute as to whether there was a legally binding agreement for Ansbury to transfer 20 per cent share of its equity in the venture to Whitmore, such that OODP BVI equity would change to 60 per cent for Whitmore and 40 per cent for Ansbury and also whether the parties made a legally binding agreement to convert an outstanding loan of $150 million (plus interest) into shares in Oando E&P Holdings Limited.

The court, however, ruled that the draft amended loan agreement as well as the draft “Put and Call Option Agreements” never became effective.

Market operators said the ruling once more raised the unresolved issues that led to Alhaji Dahiru Mangal and Ansbury Investments Limited, to petition the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in May 2, 2017. They had alleged amongst other things, financial mismanagement, related party transactions, insider trading, huge indebtedness and falsification of financial statements.

Following the petitions SEC set up a technical team to review the petitions and its report raised the issue of gross breaches of the provisions of the Investments and Securities (ISA) Act against the company. The SEC engaged the services of five independent professional parties to immediately commence a forensic audit on the activities of Oando Plc. However, according to the suspended Director General of, SEC, Mounir Gwarzo, the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun ordered him to stop the forensic audit and his refusal to do so eventually led to his suspension.

Adeosun had, at a public hearing before the House of Representatives Committee on Capital Markets in January 2018, said that the independent parties had commenced the forensic […]

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