Oando Plc has demanded from the Securities and Exchange Commission the report of the forensic audit carried out by Deloitte & Touche for it to have a better understanding of the findings that culminated in the decisions taken by the commission.
SEC, on Friday, announced the conclusion of the investigation of Oando and ordered the Group Chief Executive Officer of the company, Mr Wale Tinubu, and other affected board members to resign.
The apex capital market regulator, in a statement on Friday, also said it barred Tinubu and the Deputy Group Chief Executive Officer of the company, Mr Omamofe Boyo, from being directors of public companies for a period of five years.
It also directed the convening of an extraordinary general meeting on or before July 1, 2019, to appoint new directors.
The commission said findings from the report revealed serious infractions such as false disclosures, market abuses, misstatements in financial statements, internal control failures, and corporate governance lapses.
However, Oando, at a press conference on Saturday, insisted on having access to the forensic audit report spelling out the findings of the investigation and subsequent penalties.
The oil firm also ruled out the resignation of its GCEO, Tinubu, saying the “alleged infractions and penalties are unsubstantiated, ultra vires, invalid and calculated to prejudice the business of the company.”
It said it had 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 Chief Operating Officer, Oando Energy Resources, Dr Ainojie Irune, who addressed the press conference, expressed shock at the decision taken by SEC.
He said, “The petitions were put forward in 2017. SEC had written us and had conducted an investigation and come up with sanctions which we thought were unjust.
“If you remember, we lodged a defence, went to court and then we were assured that SEC would initiate an independent process to ascertain if these infractions were committed or if indeed there were infractions in the first place. Then a forensic audit was recommended.
“We withdrew our court case to allow the forensic audit proceed because we were sure that we could trust the system to be balanced and fair. This commenced about 18 months ago. As you know, when a company is under a forensic audit, business becomes hard but we have been able to continuously grow the business, improve our balance sheet and deliver profitability.”
Irune added, “As I speak to with you now, we have not seen the outcome of the independent forensic audit.”
Irune said beyond the statement issued by SEC, there was a need for the company to ascertain whether it was legal for SEC to ask its directors to resign.