The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Friday barred the Group Chief Executive Officer of Oando Plc, Wale Tinubu, his deputy, Omamofe Boyo and other directors of the company to resign their positions immediately.
The Nigerian capital market regulator also Tinubu and Boyo from holding director positions of public companies for a minimum five years, even as it directed the convening of an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) of the company on or before July 1 to appoint new directors.
The directives were part of recommendations in the report of the panel constituted to investigate allegations of regulatory violations against the management of Oando Plc.
The sanctions are among some regulatory measures by the SEC to remedy the infractions by the sacked management of the company.
The investigation followed the receipt of two petitions from an international investor, Ansbury Inc. by the Commission in 2017 about alleged regulatory misconduct by the management of Oando Plc, which is listed on both the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) and and Johannesburg Stock Exchanges (JSE).
Apart from the panel that investigated certain infractions of securities and other relevant laws, SEC also engaged Deloitte & Touche to conduct a forensic audit of the activities of Oando Plc.
“The general public is hereby notified of the conclusion of the investigations of Oando Plc. The findings from the report revealed 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 said in a statement on Friday by its spokesperson, Efe Ebelo.
In addition to barring its directors from public companies, SEC said the company was also directed to pay monetary penalties.
Also, all indicted individuals, directors and affected Board members are to refund all improperly disbursed remuneration by the company.
Section 304 of the Investments and Securities Act, (ISA) 2007 empowers the Commission to refer all issues with possible criminality to the appropriate criminal prosecuting authorities.
In addition, the SEC said other aspects of the findings would be referred to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), and the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) for further actions.
“The Commission is confident that with the implementation of the above directives and introduction of some remedial measures, such unwholesome practices by public companies would be significantly reduced.
“Therefore, in line with the Federal Government’s resolve to build strong institutions, Boards of public companies are enjoined to properly perform their fiduciary duties as required under extant securities laws,” the statement said.
The Commission said as the apex regulator of the Nigerian capital market, it will maintain its zero tolerance to market infractions.
It reiterated its commitment to ensuring fairness, integrity, efficiency and transparency of the securities market to strengthen investors protection.