Nigeria’s Securities and Exchange Commission’s claims that the group chief executive officer of Oando Plc, Wale Tinubu, his deputy Omamofe Boyo and the oil firm were involved in dubious activities cannot be substantiated, an official of the oil company Oando said late on Friday.
“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,” company secretary Ayotola Jagun said in a statement. He said the company will be heading for the court to seek redress.
SEC said the Tinubu, Boyo and the oil company committed, among other infractions, “false disclosure” and “misstatements in financial statements”.
It said it will refer “possible criminality to the appropriate criminal prosecuting authorities.”
Jagun insisted that the processes that led to the sanctions against the company’s top chiefs were flawed as it was given an opportunity to review and respond to the outcome of the forensic audit carried out by Deloitte & Touche.
The forensic audit became necessary, according to SEC, after it received two petitions in 2017 about “certain infractions of securities and other relevant laws” perpetrated by the oil company.
The Commission said it had substantial evidence that there were instances of “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 arm’s length, amongst others.”
SEC consequently directed that Tinubu and Boyo to resign from the board of the oil company immediately and that the duo must be replaced through an extraordinary general meeting on or before July 1, 2019, the Commission said.
Tinubu, Boyo and Oando are also expected to monetary penalties and also refund “improperly disbursed remuneration.”
However, Jagun said Oando was unable to ascertain what findings were made in relation to the alleged infractions and defend itself accordingly before the SEC.
“The Company reserves its rights to take all legal steps to protect its business and assets whilst remaining committed to act in the best interests of all its shareholders,” he said.