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.

 

Union Rejects Gwarzo’s ‘Reinstatement’, Shuts SEC Office In Abuja

 

Some workers of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) have protested against attempts to reinstate the suspended Director General of SEC, Mounir Gwarzo.

The workers, under the auspices of Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN), SEC Branch, locked up offices at the Headquarters of the agency on Monday, over attempts by the suspended DG to resume duties.

Gwarzo had been indicted for abuse of office and corruption by an Administrative Panel of Inquiry set up by the Federal Ministry of Finance headed by the Permanent Secretary, Dr Mahmoud Isa-Dutse.

READ ALSO: Abel Diah Re-Elected Taraba Assembly Speaker

He was also indicted by the House of Representatives Ad-Hoc Committee which investigated his suspension by the former Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun.

Addressing union members during the protest, ASCSN Chairman at SEC, Nelson Oleghe, stated that members have the right to reject any move they deemed to be wrong.

He said, We are SEC staff members of Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, SEC branch. We are a labour union that press home demands and concern with the welfare of members.

The suspended DG of SEC has been on suspension for almost two years, following allegations of abuse of office levelled against him.

Oleghe added, The recommendations of the Special Investigation Panel (SIP) set up by the former Honourable Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, indicted him.

The suspended DG was charged to court by ICPC. The case was poorly handled by the judge and ICPC. In all of the court cases, the issues of fraud were not mentioned and areas pointed out by the SIP were not touched by the judges.

The union chairman disclosed that they heard from a reliable source that the suspended DG after being pronounced free by the court,” wanted to stage a comeback and resume duties.

After due deliberations at an emergency meeting held on Sunday, June 02 2019, we have unanimously agreed to hold a peaceful protest to stop the purported action about to be taken by the suspended DG, he stated.

Oleghe said, We call on all staff of the union, press, and the general public to be aware and witness our action.

We believe that an institution that prescribes good corporate governance should be seen taking the lead. We say no to Gwarzo he added.

See photos below:

Oando Vows To Challenge SEC Order On Resignation Of Board Members

SEC-Oando-NSE

 

The management of Oando Plc has said that it would take all legal steps to protect itself and interests following an order by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

The oil and energy company said this in a statement released few hours after the Commission (SEC), gave a directive for the resignation of some board members.

It had also barred the Group Chief Executive Officer of the company, Wale Tinubu, and his deputy, from being directors of the companies for five years over allegations of multiple market infractions.

Read Also: SEC Orders Resignation Of Oando Board, Bars Wale Tinubu

Oando said it of the view that the alleged infractions and penalties are unsubstantiated, while it has not been given the opportunity to see, review and respond to the forensic audit report carried out by accounting firm, Deloitte & Touche.

The company further explained that it reserved its rights to take all legal steps to protect it’s business and assets, while remaining committed to act in the best interests of all its shareholders.

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.

EFCC Probes MTN’s Listing

Alleged 10bn Sanction: MTN, FG Settle Out Of Court

 

Telcoms giant MTN has said its listing on the Nigerian Stock Exchange is the subject of an enquiry by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

MTN, which was listed on the Exchange last week, however, said it had not been accused of any wrongdoing by the EFCC.

According to a statement by the Company Secretary, MTN, Uto Ukpanah, which was posted on the NSE’s website, the telecoms giant received a letter from MTN on Thursday requesting information and documentation related to the listing of its shares.

Stressing that it has not been accused of wrongdoing, the company said, “We wish to reiterate that we received all regulatory approvals required to list our shares on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, as publicly confirmed by the Nigerians Stock Exchange and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

“As a law-abiding and responsible corporate citizen, we are co-operating fully with the authorities. We are committed to good governance and to abiding by the extant laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

SEC Approves MTN’s 20.35bn Ordinary Shares On NSE

 

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), has approved the application by MTN Nigeria to list on the Nigerian Stock Exchange by way of introduction.

This was confirmed by the Head, Corporate Communication, SEC, Efe Ebelo on Wednesday.

Ebelo said the commission approved the listing after MTN had successfully completed the registration of 20,354,513,050 billion ordinary shares of N0.02 kobo.

“The Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC can confirm that the application by MTN Nigeria to list on the Nigerian Stock Exchange by way of introduction has been approved.”

READ ALSO: CBN To Slam Fine On Banks For Breaching Counterfeit Notes Law

According to Acting Director General of SEC, Ms. Mary Uduk, “MTN sought to come to the market by way of an introduction and they wrote to the SEC last week requesting for approval to register its existing shares. That approval has now been granted”.

The statement informed that SEC had received an application from MTN requesting registration of their existing securities.

Court Acquits, Discharges Suspended SEC DG

 

An FCT High Court sitting in Abuja has discharged and acquitted the suspended Director-General of the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) Munir Gwarzo and his co-defendant, a former Executive Commissioner Corporate Services, Zakwanu Garuba, who were charged to court by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).

Justice Hussein Baba-Yusuf ruled that the five charges against Mr. Gwarzo and his co-accused have not been proven by the ICPC.

The court held that while the ICPC did not implicate Mr. Gwarzo in their testimony, the remaining witnesses who are operatives of the ICPC contradicted themselves and that no reasonable tribunal could find the defendant guilty.

READ ALSOEFCC Arrests Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia As Court Strikes Out Corruption Charges

In his ruling on a no-case submission filed by both defendants, justice Hussein Baba-Yusuf   held that the burden of proof was on the prosecution to prove the essential elements in the charges as required by law  but through its own witnesses and exhibit which include a board resolution which approved the benefits for an Executive Director who had spent more than two years in office, the charge against Mr. Gwarzo has not been established.

The trial judge said that the 4th prosecution witness agreed under cross-examination that the board resolution was lawful.

He also held that the testimony of the prosecution witness number two clearly shows that the first defendant had no role in deciding what was entitled to him and as such could not have used his office to enrich himself.

Justice Baba-Yusuf concluded that the evidence cannot be used by any court or tribunal to convict Gwarzo, he therefore discharged and acquitted him.

In the case of the second defendant, Mr. Zakwanu Garuba, Justice Yusuf held that no prima facie case had been established against Mr. Garuba who acted based on a decision of the governing board of SEC which is the highest decision-making body of the commission as such, no case had been proven against him.

Reps Ask SEC To Take Over Capital Oil Plc

Indigenous Firms Plan To Increase Oil Output

 

The House of Representatives Committee on Capital Market has asked the Securities and Exchange Commmission (SEC) to take over troubled oil retailer Capital Oil Plc, listed on the oil and gas subsector of the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

The legislature’s order to the capital market regulator was based on allegations that Capital Oil Plc defrauded shareholders of more than five billion naira.

The House committee, chaired by Mr Tony Nwulu, will also be investigating the level of compliance with operational and regulatory requirements by companies whose shares are publicly quoted.

It also says it will ask the regulator to sanction any misbehaviour by listed companies and other participants.

Capital Oil Plc is not the same as Capital Oil and Gas Limited, a private oil company, owned by Mr Ifeanyi Ubah, and not listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

US SEC Again Rejects Winkelvoss Twins Bitcoin Fund

 

US market regulators on Thursday again rejected a proposal to allow trading in the first Bitcoin-based exchange-traded fund created by noted tech entrepreneurs Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss.

The Securities and Exchange Commission denied the request in a 3-1 vote, upholding the rejection handed down last year.

The value of Bitcoin, a digital currency not overseen or guaranteed by any central bank, has fluctuated wildly in recent months, with some price movements this week driven by hopes the SEC could approve an ETF tied to the currency.

The SEC reportedly is considering applications for a handful of other bitcoin-based exchange-traded funds.

But the SEC said BZX, an equities market operated by CBOE Global Markets, failed to demonstrate that its proposed change to market rules would not create the risk of fraud and “manipulative acts.”

BZX had not entered into “surveillance-sharing agreements” with other regulated Bitcoin markets or shown it could find other ways of complying with securities laws, the SEC said in its decision.

“Because BZX has failed to carry its burden, the proposed rule change must be disapproved,” it said.

Following the announcement, exchange rates for bitcoin fell from 2.2 percent $8,086, according to figures compiled by Bloomberg.

SEC officials told reporters the denial did not reflect any judgment on the intrinsic value of Bitcoin or the blockchain technology used for cryptocurrencies.

But they said market data showed more than 75 percent of all trades between Bitcoin and traditional currencies occur outside the United States, with annualized volatility in 2017 of 94 percent — compared to about 11 percent for gold.

The agency has taken an aggressive stance on Bitcoin investment vehicles such as initial coin offerings as they have seen cases of outright fraud explode in recent years and has launched a public education campaign to encourage investors to be skeptical.

NASS, SEC, Others Hold 2nd Capital Market Forum

 

The National Assembly, the Securities and Exchange Commission and other financial regulatory agencies, are holding their second Stakeholders’ Forum on the Capital Market.

According to the Chairman of the House of Representatives’ Committee on Capital Market and Institutions, TeeJay Yusuf, the theme of this year’s conference is, “capital Market As A Catalyst for Economic Growth and Development.”

Some of those at the event include the DG of Debt Management Office, Ms. Patience Oniha, Chairman, Senate Committee on Finance, Senator John Eno and Acting DG of SEC, Ms Mary Uduk.

The CEO of NSE, Mr. Oscar Onyema, the Minister of Finance Mrs Kemi Adeosun, Ministers of Agriculture, Economic Planning, Trade and Investment and Works, Power and Housing, state governors, Senate President, Bukola Saraki, are among others who are expected at the event.

[Updated] Adeosun Appoints Mary Uduk As Acting SEC DG

Adeosun Reassigns Portfolios In SEC
File photo

 

The Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, has approved the reassignment of portfolios in the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the appointment of Ms Mary Uduk as the new Acting Director-General of the commission.

Special Adviser on Media and Communications to the minister, Mr Oluyinka Akintunde, revealed this in a statement on Friday in Abuja.

According to the statement, Uduk’s appointment is governed by the provisions of the Investments and Securities Act (ISA), 2007 and the conditions of service applicable to the Director-General of the Commission.

In a letter dated April 13, 2018, Adeosun explained that said Uduk’s appointment became necessary to ensure effective regulation of the Capital Market.

She added that the appointment would, subject to satisfactory performance, subsist until further notice and further announced the redeployment of the former acting Director-General of SEC, Dr Abdul Zubair, to External Relations Department.

Other reassignments approved by the minister include Reginald Karawusa (Acting Executive Commissioner, Legal and Enforcement), Isiyaku Tilde (Acting Executive Commissioner, Operations), and Henry Adekunle (Acting Executive Commissioner, Corporate Services).

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Finance has requested for a formal explanation from the SEC of its recent communications with the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), which allegedly impacted market confidence adversely.

Uduk joined the SEC in 1986 as an assistant financial analyst and her career as a regulator has spanned many functions and departments in the Commission, from corporate finance, administration, to providing structural, policy and due diligence for capital market transactions.

She has also been responsible for managing several landmark capital market projects, including the registration of Capital Market Operators, articulating rules for bonds and equities; Mergers, acquisitions and Takeovers, and managing the banking and insurance industry consolidations between 2005-2007.

The new acting DG served as the pioneer Head of the Operations Division in the Lagos Zonal Office, and has headed a number of departments in the commission which include Internal Control, Investment Management, Financial Standards and Corporate Governance and Securities, and Investment Services Department, among others.

Reps Shift Public Hearing On Suspended DG Of SEC

The public hearing on the conflict between the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun and the suspended Director General of Securities and Exchange Commission has been rescheduled for January 2018.

This follows a notification by the Minister of Finance seeking permission to attend the Federal Executive Council meeting which continues today.

The letter was read by the chairman of the committee, Yususf Tajudeen where he explained that there is need to hear from both side and therefore the hearing should be shifted.

READ ALSO: Adeosun Suspends SEC DG, Two Others

The Minister of Finance had on November 29, 2017, suspended the Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Mr Mounir  Gwarzo over several financial allegations.

His suspension is in order to allow for an unhindered investigation of several allegations of financial impropriety leveled against him.

This was contained in a statement signed by Deputy Director, Press, Federal Ministry of Finance, Patricia Deworitshe on Wednesday, November 29.

The suspension is in line with the Public Service Rules (PSRs) 03405 and 03406.

The Minister therefore set up an Administrative Panel of Inquiry (API) to investigate and determine the culpability of the Director-General.

The statement added that “She has directed the suspended SEC Director-General to immediately hand over to the most senior officer at the Commission, pending the conclusion of the investigation by the API.”

“Also suspended are two management staff of the Commission – Mr Abdulsalam Naif Habu, Head of Media Division and Mrs Anastasia Omozele Braimoh, Head of Legal Department – who have been alleged to engage in financial impropriety in the Commission.”

Allegations against Director General include an alleged collection of severance package in the sum of N104,851,154.94 while still in service.