Oando Secures Fresh Court Order To Review SEC Sanction

Oando Shares Move Up On Stock Exchange

 

The Federal High Court in Lagos has granted Oando Plc permission to file a motion for a judicial review of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s decision imposing a fine of N89,675,000 on it.

Justice Ayokunle Faji also granted leave to the company to apply for an order of certiorari for the quashing of SEC’s directive to Oando to convene an extraordinary general meeting on or before July 1 to appoint new directors and articulate remedial measures for the alleged corporate governance lapses.

Justice Faji further granted leave to Oando Plc to apply for an order of certiorari for the quashing of a press release by SEC on June 1 appointing an interim management team to be headed by Mr. Mutiu Sunmonu (the third respondent) to oversee Oando’s affairs.

READ ALSO: Oando Vows To Challenge SEC Order On Resignation Of Board Members

The leave granted by the court also permits Oando Plc to apply for “an order of prohibition and/or an injunction restraining and preventing the first and second respondents or their agents from enforcing the decision contained in the letter dated 31 May 2019”.

SEC’s Acting Director General, Mary Uduk and SEC itself are the first and second respondent in the suit.

Justice Faji directed Oando to ensure service of the order and the application for judicial review, on the respondents, within 48hours.

The commission had on May 31 announced the conclusion of an investigation of Oando and ordered its Group Chief Executive Officer Mr. Wale Tinubu, his deputy Mr. Omamofe Boyo other affected board members to resign.

It barred Tinubu and Boyo from being directors of public companies for a period of five years.

SEC subsequently set up an interim management team headed by Sunmonu to oversee Oando’s affairs and to conduct an Extraordinary General Meeting on or before July 1.

In an ex-parte application filed through their counsel Olasupo Shasore (SAN), Tinubu and Ojo prayed for an order of certiorari to quash SEC’s purported imposition of N91,125,000 fine on Tinubu. The application was granted.

Oando, also through Shasore, filed the latest application seeking for judicial review of the SEC decisions against it with a view to quashing them, which Justice Faji granted.

He adjourned until July 22 for further hearing.

 

SEC Orders Resignation Of Oando Board, Bars Wale Tinubu

 

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), has given a directive for the resignation of the affected board members of an energy company, Oando Plc, and also barred the Group Chief Executive Officer of the company, Wale Tinubu, and his deputy, from being directors of the companies for five years.

This is after the capital market regulator concluded investigation into the activities of the company, regarding alleged infractions and other market violations.

READ ALSO: Ex-ICPC Board Nominee Jailed Five Years For Collecting N5m Bribe

Following the receipt of two petitions by the Commission in 2017, investigations were conducted into the activities of Oando Plc (a company listed on the Nigerian and Johannesburg Stock Exchanges).

Certain infractions of Securities and other relevant laws were observed. The Commission further engaged Deloitte & Touche to conduct a Forensic Audit of the activities of Oando Plc.

The general public is hereby notified of the conclusion of the investigations of Oando Plc. The findings from the report revealed serious infractions such as false disclosures, market abuses, misstatements in financial statements, internal control failures, and corporate governance lapses stemming from poor board oversight, irregular approval of directors remuneration, unjustified disbursements to directors and management of the company, related party transactions not conducted at arms length, amongst others.

SEC also ordered payment of monetary penalties by the company to affected individuals and directors, and refund of improperly disbursed remuneration by the affected Board members to the company.

The Commission is confident that with the implementation of the above directives and introduction of some remedial measures, such unwholesome practices by public companies would be significantly reduced.

Therefore, in line with the Federal Governments resolve to build strong institutions, Boards of public companies are enjoined to properly perform their fiduciary duties as required under extant securities laws the statement added.

In addition, the commission also directed the convening of an extraordinary general meeting on or before July 1, 2019, to appoint new directors.
The regulator said all issues with possible criminality to be referred to the appropriate criminal prosecuting authorities.

Oando Shares Move Up On Stock Exchange

Oando Shares Move Up On Stock Exchange
File photo

 

The shares of troubled energy trader, Oando Nigeria Plc, moved up the maximum 10 per cent to N6.99, within the first one hour of trading on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) on Wednesday.

Stock trader and Chief Executive of Cowry Asset Management, Mr Johnson Chukwu, told Channels Television that investors demand for the shares of Oando topped nearly 77 million in early trade.

News filtered in early today that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) late Tuesday ordered the Stock Exchange to lift its six-month share price freeze on Oando Nigeria.

The energy company is currently under independent forensic investigation ordered by the Securities Commission with an interim report due in a few weeks’ time.

Oando Drags SEC To Appeal Court

SEC-Oando-NSE

Oando Plc has approached the Court of Appeal with a view to lifting the technical suspension imposed on its shares on the floor of the Nigerian stock market by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Oando wants the Court of Appeal to make an order “reversing the decision of Justice Rilwan Aikawa who struck out the suit at the Federal High Court, Lagos.

Counsel to Oando, Mr Seyi Sowemimo (SAN) brought this information to the notice of Justice Aikawa at the resumption of proceedings today at the Federal High Court.

In the light of the appeal, Mr Sowemimo urged Justice Aikawa to make an order “preserving the res to prevent the appeal from being rendered nugatory.”

But counsel for SEC and the Nigerian Stock Exchange, which was joined as the second defendant, Mr Anthony Idigbe (SAN), opposed Mr Sowemimo’s application for the preservation of res.

Mr Idigbe argued that the issues canvassed by Oando in its appeal “are not substantial in law.”

He insisted that it was in the best interest of investors, shareholders and members of the general public that SEC placed Oando’s shares under technical suspension.

He said the technical suspension was to prevent panic and dumping of Oando’s shares by investors and members of the public.

Mr Idigbe also added that the technical suspension was temporary and was imposed to allow for an independent forensic audit of Oando’s business activities.

He argued there was no point for Justice Aikawa to make an order preserving the res because “the suspension of the trading of the plaintiff’s shares in the Nigerian Stock Exchange has already been completed and the parties are waiting for the report of the said investigation”.

Mr Sowemimo then asked the court for time to reply to this assertions and more made by Mr Idigbe in his counter-affidavit.

Justice Aikawa has adjourned further proceedings in the case till Wednesday, December 13.

The oil company had earlier approached the Federal High Court in Lagos to challenge SEC’s suspension of its shares and an audit of its business activities by forensic experts hired by SEC.

Trial Judge, Justice Rilwan Aikawa granted an interim injunction restraining SEC from carrying out the audit, but the same judge, in a ruling on November 23, 2017, subsequently struck out Oando’s suit, saying he had no jurisdiction to entertain it.

The judge said the appropriate forum to ventilate the issue was the Investment and Securities Tribunal (IST).

Displeased with the decision, Oando, through its lawyer, Mr. Seyi Sowemimo (SAN), went before the Court of Appeal seeking the reversal of Justice Aikawa’s ruling.

Mr Sowemimo insisted that the Federal High Court rather than the IST was the appropriate forum to hear the case.

He said the judge erred in law by declining jurisdiction because “the suit touched and concerned the operation of a company incorporated under the Companies and Allied Matters Act.”

According to him, by virtue of Section 251(i)(e) of the Constitution, the Federal High Court is empowered to entertain CAMA-related cases.

He is, therefore, urging the Court of Appeal to make an order “reversing the (Justice Aikawa’s) order striking out the suit and restoring the matter to the cause list of the Federal High Court for accelerated hearing.”

Oando Accuses SEC Of Illegality, Obtains Restraining Order

SEC-Oando-NSE

Oando Plc has responded to the findings by the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) that the company’s audited financial statements contained misstatements.

In a statement on Tuesday, Oando accused SEC of illegality, adding that it had secured a court order restraining the regulator and the Nigerian Stock Exchange from enforcing the technical suspension of its shares.

The Securities and Exchange Commission had in a letter dated October 17, 2017, and addressed to the Group Chief Executive Officer of Oando, Mr Wale Tinubu, accused the company of gross abuse of corporate governance and financial mismanagement.

Among other things, the regulator said the company’s audited financial statements for 2013 and 2014 contained misstatements. It also accused the company of insider trading.

The letter read in part, “Following the structuring of the OEPL transaction in contravention of the ISA 2007, Oando Plc recorded a profit of about N6bn from the sale of the OEPL that erased the operating loss of N4.68bn, leading to a profit of N1.4bn for the year 2013.

“The company subsequently declared dividends from the profit. Having admitted that the action was in breach of the ISA 2007, Oando Plc restated its 2013 and 2014 audited financial statements, which contained material false and misleading information contrary to Section 60(2) of the ISA 2007.”

SEC also said the corporate governance returns submitted by the company for the period ended December 31, 2016 violated the SEC Code of Corporate Governance.

“The commission finds from the corporate governance returns submitted by the company for the period ended December 31, 2016 that the remuneration of the group chief executive officer and the deputy GCEO was approved by the board while the GCEO was responsible for fixing the remuneration of other executive directors, which is in violation of part 3, 14,3 of the SEC Code of Corporate Governance,” the regulator said.

Consequently, the Commission on October 18 directed the Nigerian Stock Exchange to suspend the trading of Oando shares for 48 hours followed by a technical suspension until further notice.

It also said a team of independent professional firms will conduct a forensic audit into the affairs of the company.

But Oando countered the findings in its statement on Tuesday.

It said, “Oando is of the view that the SEC’s directives are illegal, invalid and calculated to prejudice the business of the Company. The Company being dissatisfied with the above-mentioned actions and to safeguard the interests of the Company and its shareholders immediately took steps to file an action against the SEC and the NSE.”

One of the steps, according to the company, is that on Monday, October 23, 2017, the company obtained an ex-parte order from the Federal High Court granting an interim injunction “restraining the NSE and any other party working on their behalf from giving effect to the directive of the SEC to implement a technical suspension of the shares of the Company pending the hearing and determination of the motion for injunction”.

The injunction also restrains SEC “and any other parties claiming through or working on behalf of the Commission from conducting any forensic audit into the affairs of the Company pending the hearing and determination of the motion for injunction”.

Oando added, “The NSE and SEC were served with the enrolled court order today Tuesday, October 24, 2017 after the technical suspension was carried out by the NSE on Monday, October 23, 2017.”

The company, which said it fully co-operated with the SEC since the commencement of this investigation in May 2017 and provided all information requested, argued that the regulator’s actions showed that the submissions it made to the SEC had not been duly considered, hence it had to seek legal redress.

NNPC Awards 2017 Crude Term Contracts To 39 Companies

NNPC, Crude Term ContractsThe Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has awarded 1.31 million barrels per day (BPD) of crude oil to 39 companies as part of its 2017 crude term contracts.

A statement by the Group Managing Director at the Public Affairs Division, Ndu Ughamadu, revealed the companies were selected for the term contracts after a transparent bid by 224 companies in December 2016.

The companies are 18 Nigerian owned companies, three foreign state owned companies, 11 international trading houses, five foreign refineries and trading arms of the NNPC group.

The statement said each of the contracts were for 32,000bpd apart from Duke Oil Limited, an oil trading arm of the NNPC which would be for 90,000bpd.

It also disclosed that the contract, which was announced by the Group General Manager of the Crude Oil Marketing Division of the corporation, Mr Mele Kyari, would run for one year, with effect from the January 1, 2017 for consecutive 12 circles of crude oil allocation.

The breakdown of the term contract winners are; Nigerian companies: Oando, Sahara Energy Resources Limited, MRS Oil and Gas, A.A. Rano Nigeria Limited, Bono, Masters Energy, Eterna Oil and Gas, Cavalva Energy, Hyde Energy, Britania-U, North West Petroleum, Optima Energy, AMG Petroenergy, Arkleen Oil and Gas Limited, Shoreline Limited, Emo Oil, Setana Oil and Prudent Energy.

International trading companies: Trafigura, Enoc, BP Trading, Total Trading, UCL Petro Energy, Mocoh Trading, Trevier Petroleum, Heritage Oil, Levene Energy, Glencore as well as Litasco Supply and Trading.

NNPC trading companies: Calson/Hyson and Duke Oil Incorporated.

Refiners: Hindustan Refinery, Varo Energy, Sonara Refinery, Bharat Petroleum and CEPSA.

Government to government: Indian Oil Corporation (India – IOC), Sinopec (China) and Sacoil (South Africa).

Agip To Invest More In Green River Project In Niger Delta

Benue, Air Force, YouthsThe NAOC Green River Project coordinators say they will be investing more in agriculture Niger Delta region of Nigeria by increasing the area of coverage and creating a new Plant Propagation Centre in Delta State

The project is part of the corporate social responsibility of the the Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) in partnership with Oando, Eni and Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.

It was the 20th Farmers’ Day Celebration in Yenagoa, the capital of Bayelsa State and many farmers that have benefited from the Green River Project gathered to show their appreciation for the support they had received from the project coordinators.

It is an initiative that supports farmers from the different host communities of NAOC by providing them with improved agricultural products and soft loans to advance their agro-businesses.

At the venue of the celebration, it was a gathering of farmers and lovers of agro-business as the Nigerian Agip Oil Company and its partners inspect the different farm produce displayed by the farmers in order to get a scorecard of their investments in the agricultural sector of their host communities drawn for Delta, Imo, Rivers and Bayelsa State.

The theme ‘Sustainable Farming for Sustainability’ is quite apt, as the farmers who are grateful beneficiaries of the benevolence of NAOC under their Green River Project have gotten, improved seeds, plantain suckers, tractors, hoes and even money to ensure that they succeed in their individual businesses.

The Vice Chairman and Managing Director of the NAOC Green River Project (GRP), Massimo Insulla, while cheering on the beneficiaries of the project who have in the past year improved on the quality of their produce announced the preparedness of the company to still invest more in the agricultural sector of their host states.

“As we take stock today of the achievements of this initiative and its contribution to the empowerment of benefiting farmers and their families, we are encouraged to invest more and more in the states. In other to make the benchmark of many of such initiatives, this year, we have increased the area of coverage of the Green River Project by creating a new plant propagation centre in Kwale, Delta State.

“We have begun rehabilitation of an existing complex of about eight hectares in Bayelsa State,” he told the gathering.

The District General Manager of the Green River Project, Marco Rotondi, said that the company’s intervention was focused on women, the youths, children who are still in secondary school by teaching them the importance of farming and to encourage the farmers to form cooperatives societies in order to benefit from the loan issued by the NAOC.

He also listed other services offered by the NAOC Green River Project to advance agriculture in the Niger Delta.

“We are very proud of the following services that our project offers. First is the provision of improved seeds and agricultural and agro-allied materials, agricultural extension services and skill acquisitions programme and micro-credit scheme aimed at delivering entrepreneurial training”.

The Honourable Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, who represented President Muhammadu Buhari, commended the NAOC for the initiative.

He said that the project was worth emulating.

In his speech, he told the gathering that the Federal Government was repositioning the Bank of Agriculture and had also created the Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for agricultural lending to enable farmers access more affordable credit facilities.

“It must be noted that despite the huge oil and gas deposit, the Niger Delta region is blessed with one of the world’s largest wetlands with arable lands for agriculture and has the capacity to become a domestic and international provider of agricultural produce,” Senator Lokpobiri stated.

He also appealed to Niger Delta residents to embrace peace and focus on agriculture for sustainable economic development and wealth creation.

Aside the speeches of commendation the dignitaries visited the farmers village which was constructed by the farmers to display their wares and one after the other the farmers expressed their gratitude to the NAOC while explaining how the Green River Project had impacted their lives.

Oando Signs $115.8mn Agreement With Helios   

OandoOando Plc has signed a mid-stream agreement with Helios Investment Partners, a premier Africa-focused private investment firm, to acquire 49% of the voting rights in Oando’s mid-stream business subsidiary, Oando Gas and Power Limited.

Oando will still retain 49 percent of voting rights in Oando Gas and Power Limited while the remaining two percent will be held by a local entity.

In a statement to the Nigerian Stock Exchange, the group explained that the agreed transaction consideration of 115.8 million dollars is conditional upon receipt of regulatory approvals and subject to customary purchase price adjustments.

According to the oil group’s Chief Executive, Wale Tinubu, this strategic alliance will firmly leverage the group’s local knowledge and expertise alongside Helios’ strong financial capabilities to revolutionize the sector and position gas as a key driver for Nigeria’s economic empowerment.

Fire Destroys Property Worth Millions of Naira In Benin City

fireResidents of Aduwawa in Benin City, the Edo State capital on Wednesday experienced fire outbreak from a tanker laden with fuel.

The fire destroyed property worth millions of Naira.

Eyewitness account says the tanker fell in front of the Oando filling station and burst into flames, just when some people began to take the product.

As at the time Channels Television visited the scene, men from the Fire Service were still battling to put out the flames.

New Petrol Pump Price Enjoys High Compliance Nationwide

petrolThere seems be high compliance level for the new pump price of petrol across the country.

This is according to Channels TV correspondents, who visited petrol stations across the country.

While petrol is selling at between 86 naira and 86.50 in Abuja, the product is selling for N87 per litre in Kano.

Many petrol stations in the Federal Capital Territory have been nearly empty with just two to three cars at the fuel pumps at a time.

At the NNPC filling station visited, the pump price was 86 naira per litre and the station manager who spoke off camera said that the new pump price was put in place as soon as government announced the reduction.

Other filling stations visited; Conoil, Oando, Forte Oil, were selling at N86.50k per litre.

Vehicle owners buying at the new rate said that they were happy that the product was available whether or not there is a reduction in pump price.

They also said that the 50 kobo reduction would be taken as a sign of better things to come.

However, one customer asked that federal government pay attention also to the pump price and availability of kerosene which he said is used by a greater number of Nigerians, especially the poor.

For the oil majors in Lagos, they have reverted to the approved rate of N86.50k, while the same may not be said of independent marketers who are still selling above the recommended retail price.

The situation seems to be bad in Ogun State where the product is still selling for between N110 and N120 per litre except for the capital city, Abeokuta where the NNPC mega station is selling at the new pump price.

DPR Monitors Sale Of Fuel In Ondo, Ekiti States

dprThe Akure office of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) covering Ondo and Ekiti States have tracked 15 filling stations in Ondo State and 14 in Ekiti State that were selling petrol above the official price and auctioned the product at the official rate of 87 Naira per litre for customers.

The operation which started in Akure, Ondo State Capital, continued to Ikere- Ekiti in Ekiti State where the team of officials of the DPR, led by the Operatios Controller of DPR in Ondo/Ekiti States, Wale Oseni.

Members of the public in both states had been complaining about the fuel marketers who either hoard, inflate the price or selling for as high as 140 Naira per litre.

Two stations were sealed in Ikere and Ado-Ekiti for hoarding the product, while none was sealed in Akure.

Filling stations such as NNPC, Oando, Forte and Master Energy, who were selling at inflated prices, were monitored to sell at the official price in Akure.

DPR Says 294 Trucks Of PMS Supplied To Abuja

DPRThe Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) on Tuesday said that a total of 149 trucks of petrol was supplied to Abuja and its environs on Tuesday November 17.

The Head Public Relations, DPR Abuja, Mr Mohammed Saidu, said that this supply has brought the total number of PMS supplied to Abuja between Monday, November 16 and Tuesday, 17 to 294 trucks.

Saidu, who said that the measure was to ease off fuel queues at filling stations in the city, said that 145 trucks was supplied to Abuja and its environs on Monday.

While giving the breakdown of the PMS supplied on Tuesday, he explained that 99 trucks were supplied inside Abuja city with Forte Oil receiving four trucks, while Conoil received 10 trucks.

According to him, Mobil had eight trucks, as MRS was supplied with seven trucks, while NIPCO and Oando got six and 11 trucks respectively.

He stated that Total received 14 trucks, while NNPC retail was allocated 34 trucks as IPMAN had five trucks.

He said that 50 trucks were dispersed to immediate and extended environment of the capital city. The immediate environment had 32 trucks, while extended environment received 18 trucks.

The DPR Director, Mordecai Ladan, had earlier warned petroleum products marketers against engaging in sharp practices or face sanctions like licence revocation or N2 million fine.

Ladan gave the warning while speaking against the backdrop of the purported resurgence of fuel scarcity in some parts of the country.

He warned petroleum products depots and filling station owners to desist from products diversion, hoarding, pump manipulation as well as selling products above government approved prices.

He said that any petroleum products marketer who engages in the act of diversion, hoarding or under-dispensing would be prosecuted and treated like an economic saboteur.

“Marketers caught diverting or hoarding products for profiteering shall be sanctioned with a fine of N2 million in addition to having their operating license revoked and prosecuted for national economic sabotage,” he warned.

The DPR boss linked the resurgence of fuel queues in some states of the country to the nefarious activities of unscrupulous marketers who are in the habit of diversion of petroleum products to other sources apart from dispensing pumps at filling station at the appropriate price of N87 per litre.