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Oando shareholders sue SEC

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has been slammed with another lawsuit by displeased shareholders of Oando Plc. The shareholders – Alhaji Yakubu Gumel, Alhaji Kabiru Tambari, and Tunde Badmus – on February 19 sued SEC at the Federal High Court, Kano. The shareholders filed for an interim order restraining SEC, its agents or representatives from acting on its May 31, 2019 letter sanctioning the Management of Oando.

The request if granted will restrain the SEC, its agents or anyone acting on behalf of the Commission from disturbing or meddling with the affairs, management and activities of Oando Plc. The shareholders also requested an order restraining the SEC’s purported interim Management from interfering with the administration and activities of the company as well as an order restraining SEC from interfering with the shareholder’s exercise and performance of their statutory powers and duties as shareholders.

Tambari, one of the applicants and an Oando shareholder since 1991, is suing for himself and on behalf of the Sokoto Zone Shareholders Association. On why he decided to sue the regulator, he said: “I’m not happy with the current state of my investment.

I invested my money heavily with the hopes of capital appreciation and this has not been the case. This SEC and Oando case is affecting the appreciation of our investment and it isn’t appreciating, it gets worse each year. “For over two years now we have been totally in the dark on our investment in Oando. Where in the world is this done? Other companies that aren’t even oil and gas companies are doing well on the capital market. Oando’s shares would have appreciated greatly if this issue wasn’t hovering over our heads. We should be in the league of over N50 per share by now.

“Year-on-year our investment has depreciated in value. We are tired! As a shareholder I am strongly behind the Management of Oando. Not everyone can withstand the backlash this crisis has put the Management through these past four years and still remain committed to doing the job.

We have reached out to the SEC and appealed a resolution, but they haven’t listened to us, that’s why we’ve taken this matter to court.” Another applicant representing Pacesetters shareholder association, Mr. Tunde Badmus, explained why he suing the regulator.

He said: “The good of the company has to be for the good of all stakeholders. We have absolute faith in Oando, its board and management, hence our resolve to stand by the company. As stakeholders, though minority shareholders, we still value our investment and the path being taken by the company. We are confident that the board and management will not launder or plunge the company into deliberate difficulty. When the regulators wanted to impose new management on the company, we frowned at it and thankfully that didn’t happen.

They should stick to their regulatory role and not try to become operators of the company by imposing a management of their choice on us. We have reached out to the regulator both the old and new management to no avail, hence we had to head for litigation.” The court hearing between the SEC and aggrieved shareholders has been adjourned to March 17.

 

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