Reps query timing of Gwarzo's suspension, resolve to probe saga

Adjust Comment Print

SEC also yesterday reiterated its decision to conduct a forensic exercise into the activities of Oando. Its letter said that the forensic auditors "shall be at your (Oando) premises on any date from Wednesday, December 6, 2017".

Also suspended alongside the DG were the Head of the Media Division, Abdulsalam Naif and the Head of Legal Department, Anastasia Braimoh.

The statement from SEC further assured members of the public of its commitment to deliver the mandate it was set up to do.

"Nigerians should know why the DG was sacked". Toby Okechukwu (Enugu State) said that the rot in SEC apparently contributed to the collapse of the capital market in Nigeria.

The suspension of Gwarzo by Adeosun last week had been linked to the forensic audit into the financial affairs of Oando Plc.

"The conflict has allegedly lingered for several months between the Ministry of Finance and the Securities and Exchange Commission, but the matter of Oando disagreement brought it into public domain".

"Accordingly, the Commission is poised to continue to ensuring the stability of the Nigerian capital market and sustaining the all-time high level of investor confidence, as recent developments will not be allowed to disrupt the regulatory effectiveness and efficiency of the Commission as the statutory regulator of the capital market and by extension, the smooth running of the market".

However, it lost this bid at the court because the presiding judge, Justice Mohammed Aikawa, threw out the case for lack of jurisdiction, advising Oando to take the matter to an Investment and Securities Tribunal (IST), which has the powers to hear disputes arising from the capital market.

"That the Commission is not aware of the existence of any valid or subsisting Order of Court restraining the Commission from proceeding with the Forensic Audit".

In a letter to Oando, the Commission stated that it remains committed to the thorough investigation of the allegations against the indigenous oil and gas company.

Oando has repeatedly denied allegations that formed the basis of the two petitions that triggered SEC's investigation and the leading oil and gas company had insisted that where infractions had been committed, they did not warrant the call for forensic audit in line with extant rules and guidelines at the capital market.

A letter read out by the leader of the shareholders, Clement Ebitimi, had accused the Oando management of mismanagement, following allegations of infractions filed against it by Ansbury Inc., and Alhaji Dahiru Mangal on Wednesday, October 18, 2017.

A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, penultimate week, struck out a case filed by Oando Plc seeking to stop SEC from conducting the forensic audit and also lift a technical suspension placed on its shares.

The deal was said to have cost Oando $1.5bn.