The Oando and SEC saga just got more interesting. In their personal capacities, Oando PLC’s boss, Wale Tinubu and his Deputy, Omamofe Boyo, have obtained an injunction under presiding Judge C M A Olatoregun of Federal High Court (FHC), Lagos, restraining the SEC from implementing the sanctions contained in its 18 month long forensic audit report.
The injunction, pending the hearing and determination of the applicant’s motion restrains the SEC, its servants, agents employees and privies from taking any step concerning and / or acting on the decisions contained in the SEC letter dated 31st May 2019; restrains Mutiu Olaniyi Adio Sunmonu from acting as the head of the Interim Management of Oando PLC; serves as an order staying and / or suspending the execution or the enforcement of the SECs decisions as contained in its letter dated 31st May, 2019; restrains the SEC, its servants and its agents from directing, requesting any Agency of the Government from acting upon the SECs decisions contained in its letter dated 31st May, 2019.
A press release by Oando confirmed that the company’s management team and board of directors remains unchanged. The statement read: “Please note that on the basis of the court injunction Oando’s management team and Board of Directors remain unchanged. The Company strongly believes that the recent actions taken by the SEC are ultra vires and an abuse of due process.”
Oando has decried the SEC’s handling of the forensic audit process. The company in a press statement issued on its company’s website, said; “Oando is of the view that these alleged infractions and penalties are unsubstantiated, ultra vires, invalid and calculated to prejudice the business of the Company. The Company has not been given the opportunity to see, review and respond to the forensic audit report and so is unable to ascertain what findings (if any) were made in relation to the alleged infractions and defend itself accordingly before the SEC.”
The SEC’s action in the past few days have sparked outcry from concerned Nigerians. Atedo Peterside, a well renowned financial expert and banking industry mogul took to his Twitter account on the Saturday, June 1, 2019 to share his views on the Oando and SEC saga. He tweeted “On Oando, what I don’t understand is why the SEC would not give the findings of the Forensic Audit to Oando and give them an opportunity to defend themselves? The findings of the Forensic Audit should be made public alongside Oando’s responses so we can all judge for ourselves.”
In another reaction Gaby Ikeji (Esq.) said: “I have been following reactions regarding the Oando drama as entrepreneurs and upward mobile Nigerians, young and old, I am of the opinion that rather than vilify the management of Oando or mock their present trivial, we should empathize with them for what has befall that once beautiful company that was started by three young chaps. I don’t care if they received patronage form any politician to get to where there are and my reason is simple, finding a thriving world class business in Nigeria without government patronage is like looking for a pin in a hay stack. The whole episode is disturbing and demoralizing and I would encourage us to empathise with these guys until the truth is fully unravelled.”
Gaby recognized Oando’s impact on the society and asked a few pertinent questions saying “…considering the massive impact that Oando has on the corporate world, harnessing, nurturing and training young Nigerians into fine globally competitive individuals and supporting various professionals within the value chain of their business as well as displaying mind bugling appetite for risk and venture within the field of their endeavor, should this country not be weeping that the existence of our major brands are being threatened? Are we so engulfed with politics that we forget how much this company influenced our desire and drive for corporate excellence? Must all our stars become fallen hero?”
Oando has also called on the government to intervene. The company said in its statement: “We respectfully request that the Federal Government call the SEC to order with immediate effect in order to preserve the integrity of the capital market in Nigeria and protect the investment of over 2650,000 minority shareholders.”
Oando’s case has been adjourned to June 14, 2019. The hope is that with the intervention of the justice system all parties will have their day in court and the rule of law will be upheld.