SEC

Oando’s AGM Suspension: Litigation Still Ongoing, Says SEC

The Securities and Exchange Commission has said the court cases instituted by Oando Plc challenging the directives in the commission are still ongoing.

It enjoined all parties and relevant stakeholders to maintain the status quo, including the suspension of the Annual General Meeting, pending the determination of the cases and the appeals.

SEC said in a statement on Friday that its attention had been drawn to media reports ‘on the judgments against the commission concerning its regulatory action on Oando Plc and several of its officers for severe breaches of capital market regulations, some of which are under criminal investigations’.

The commission recalled that in 2017, it received petitions from two shareholders of Oando alleging corporate governance lapses and mismanagement of the company, among others.

The statement said, “The commission conducted investigations into the activities of Oando Plc and observed certain infractions and violations of securities laws by some members of the board of the company.

“To protect public interest and the integrity of the capital market, the commission sanctioned the company and the affected directors via its letter dated May 31, 2019.

According to SEC, one judgment of the Federal High Court, Lagos has held that the Federal High Court Nigeria lacks the jurisdiction to entertain the dispute as the jurisdiction lies with the Investments & Securities Tribunal.
It said, “Three judgments of the Federal High Court, Abuja have held that the Federal High Court Nigeria lacks the jurisdiction to entertain the dispute as the jurisdiction lies with the Investments & Securities Tribunal.

“One judgment of the Federal Capital Territory, High Court Bwari Abuja has held that the Federal Capital Territory High Court Abuja has the jurisdiction to entertain the matter and granted the reliefs sought by the applicants.

“One judgment of the Federal High Court, Kano has held that the Federal High Court of Nigeria has the jurisdiction to entertain the dispute and granted the reliefs against the commission.”

SEC said, “In view of the conflicting judgments of the high courts of coordinate jurisdiction, the commission hereby advises the public that in line with the law (please see Vaswani Trading Co. v. Savalakh & Co. (1972) NSCC 692 and Ojukwu v. Military Governor of Lagos State (1986) 1 NWLR (Pt 18) 621) and the pending appeals/applications for stay of the various judgments, parties and relevant stakeholders are enjoined to maintain status quo, which includes the suspension of the Annual General Meeting, pending the determination of the cases and the appeals.” PUNCH

Post Author: Friday Ekeoba