Oando: Minority shareholders accuse SEC of bias

Minority shareholders have said the apex regularity body of the Nigerian capital market, Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) was not fair in its dealings with Oando PLC, considering the way and manner it cancelled the company’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) with barely 24hours notice.

Communicating their grievances to the media on Wednesday, Hamzat Ridhwan, the Secretary-General of Association of Investors Liberalisation, on behalf of other group, noted that while shareholders fully support the regulator for their role in regulating and protecting the capital market, in the case of Oando, SEC had not acted in shareholders best interest, neither had it protected their investment.

“We condemn in absolute terms, the way and manner chosen by SEC in announcing the cancellation on the eve of the event despite having ample time to do the same,” he queried, while noting that the regulatory body did not think of the wellbeing of the shareholders, whom they were to protect, before making such drastic decision.

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“We are clear that this is not the way SEC has handled forensic audit exercise in the past, so we are not sure why Oando is being treated differently. Since SEC’s 31st May press release, there has been an erosion of value in our shares from N4.20 on the 31st of May to N3.75 on the 11th of June,” he said, adding that the hope of collecting dividend have been dashed since as the company had reversed losses to profit for two consecutive years.

The minority shareholders, therefore, call on the Federal Government and relevant bodies to intervene in directing SEC “to act in a manner that is legal, morally and ethically correct in the interest of the capital market and shareholders.”

It will be recalled that SEC had suspended Oando Plc’s AGM scheduled to hold on Tuesday, 11th June 2019, in a statement signed by Efe Ebele, the Commission’s spokesperson on Monday, 10th June, saying it directed the suspension to allow parties involved in the suit to maintain status quo.

The suspension followed an order by a Federal High Court in Lagos due to an application made by the Group Chief Executive Officer of Oando Plc, Mr Adewale Tinubu, and his deputy who were suspended by SEC on May 31.

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