Allegations that due and statutory processes were not followed by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in the investigation of Oando Plc were debunked at the weekend.
Debunking the allegations in statement by its Head of Corporate Communications of the Commission, Mrs. Efe Ebelo, the Commission emphasized that it abided by the fundamental principle of fair hearing in the entire phases of the investigation.
The statement reads: “The attention of the SEC has been drawn to various reports questioning the regulatory authority of the SEC, and insinuating lack of due process in the investigations of Oando Plc.
“To put the records straight, the SEC hereby states as follows: Fair hearing is a paramount and fundamental principle, which the Commission as a law abiding agency adheres to in all its investigative processes.
“In the course of the investigations, communications e.g. letters and phone calls were exchanged and meetings held between the Commission and Oando Plc, requesting for its comments and explanations on issues relating to the investigations.
“The finding of the Commission was communicated to the Group Chief Executive Officer of Oando Plc by a letter dated July 10, 2017.
“The Commission subsequently engaged Deloitte & Touche to conduct a Forensic Audit of the activities of Oando Plc.
“In the course of conducting the audit, Deloitte & Touche held regular sessions with members of the Board and senior management of Oando Plc, and afforded them the opportunity to provide explanations on issues relating to the investigation.
“The Commission confirms that Oando Plc was given sufficient opportunity of being heard and accorded several opportunities to rebut the issues revealed by the investigation.”
The SEC explained that the responses given by Oando Plc, were, however, considered unsatisfactory; prompting the Commission’ decision by to penalise the company and some of the individuals related to it for violations of securities laws.
The statement went further: “The actions of the Commission were properly effected pursuant to the provisions of the Investments & Securities Act (ISA) 2007 and the SEC Rules and Regulations made pursuant to the ISA 2007.
“These facts have been properly articulated in the court process filed at the Federal High Court by the Commission in response to the suit instituted by the Group Chief Executive Officer and Deputy Group Chief Executive officer of Oando Plc.
“As the apex regulator of the Nigerian capital market, the Commission has a mandate to protect investors.
“The Commission’s recent action on Oando Plc aligns with the above cardinal mandate, as the directive for the removal of persons from the board of Oando Plc and the appointment of an interim management team to temporarily steer the affairs of the company is to protect investors and preserve stakeholder value.
“Failure, or refusal of the Commission to act in the face of the serious issues thrown up by the investigations or to reverse its directives, would undermine the Federal Government’s agenda to build strong institutions and promote the transparency and integrity of the Nigerian capital market, especially given that, these are preconditions for attracting foreign investors to the Nigerian capital market.”
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