Shares’ suspension: Operators urge SEC, Oando to settle out-of-court

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Some capital market operators, on Thursday, urged the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Oando Nigeria to settle the dispute over the latter’s shares suspension out-of-court.They said in Lagos that further impasse over the issue in the public could dampen public interest in the nation’s capital market.

Mr Ambrose Omordion, the Chief Operating Officer, InvestData Ltd., Lagos, said that it was wrong for the two to fight in public.Omordion said that the two parties should have gone to the Investment and Securities Tribunal (IST) to resolve the dispute.

He said that the amount quoted by the commission for forensic audit of Oando should be resolved in the interest of shareholders.Prof. Sheriffdeen Tella of the Department of Economics, Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, Ogun, said that the issue should be handled with utmost care.

 

Tella said that: “In all markets are people or members who are out to play games.“That is why there are inspectors, coordinators and regulators which is the role being played by SEC in the capital market,” he said.

Tella said that what was important, however, was that the issue should be resolved amicably and not to erode investors’ confidence.SEC, on October 18, directed the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) to place the shares of Oando on technical suspension effective from October 20 pending the outcome of a forensic audit of Oando.

The directive was due to two petitions by one Alhaji Dahiru Barau Mangal and Ansbury Incorporated over breach of the provisions of the Investments & Securities Act 2007.

SEC said that the company also breached SEC Code of Corporate Governance for Public Companies and suspected insider dealings and discrepancies in the shareholding structure of Oando.

Oando, however, on Oct. 23, obtained an interim order from a Federal High Court restraining NSE from suspending trading on its shares.

The order also restrained SEC from conducting any forensic audit into the company’s affairs, pending the hearing and determination of the matter.

‘’We are of the view that the SEC’s directives are illegal, invalid and calculated to prejudice the business of the company,” Oando said in a statement.

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