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Oando: Court stops SEC from removing Tinubu, Boyo, as firm claims ignorance of interim management appointment


The Federal High Court on Monday granted an interim injunction restraining the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) from removing Messrs Wale Tinubu and Omamofe Boyo as Oando Plc’s Group Chief Executive  Officer (GCEO) and Deputy Group Chief Executive  Officer (DGCEO), respectively.

Justice Mojisola Olatoregun sitting in Lagos following  an application by the embattled GCEO and DGCEO for enforcement of their fundamental rights also restrained SEC, its servants or agents from taking any step concerning the commission’s letter dated May 31 in which it barred Tinubu and Boyo from being directors of a public company for five years.

It also restrained the commission from imposing a fine of N91.13 million on Tinubu.

It also  ordered that SEC should restrain from all actions on the said letter pending  hearing and determination of the applicants’ motion for an interlocutory injunction.

The court also restrained Mr Mutiu Sunmonu from acting as the Head of Oando’s interim management team pending the hearing and determination of the motion.

It also urged the parties to maintain the status quo ante pending the determination of the motion.

The court adjourned the case until June 14.

SEC had on Sunday constituted an interim management team to be headed by Sunmonu for  Oando Plc.

In a statement, the  commission said that Sunmonu would oversee the affairs of the company and conduct an Extra Ordinary General Meeting (EGM) on or before July 1, to appoint a new board of directors.

It said that the new board of directors would subsequently select a management team for Oando Plc.

The commission reiterated its commitment to maintaining the integrity of the stock market.

NSEC took the decision following conclusion of a forensic audit of Oando Plc.

Meanwhile, Oando Plc on Monday said that it was yet to receive any letter from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on the appointment of its interim management team.

A competent source in the company, who pleaded anonymity, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that Oando  had  yet to be notified of any interim management.

The source also expressed disappointment at unusual presence of policemen at the company’s headquarters in Lagos.

He said that the company heard about appointment of an interim management for it, from journalists.

“We didn’t know, they didn’t send us any letter, till now we have not received any letter, it was the media that informed us, they didn’t tell us.

“I have never seen anything like this before, I don’t know this is how it is.

“No, they did not chase any of our workers anywhere, even if it is true, why will they chase the workers away,” the source said.

NAN reports that SEC on Sunday constituted an interim management team for Oando.

The team is  headed by Mr Mutiu  Sunmonu,  according to a statement  issued by SEC’s Head of Corporate Communications, Mrs Efe Ebelo.

“Further to our press release on Oando Plc, dated May 31, 2019, the commission hereby informs the public of the constitution of an interim management team headed by Sunmonu,” the statement said.

It said that Sunmonu would oversee the affairs of the company and conduct an Extra Ordinary General Meeting (EGM) on or before July 1, to appoint a new board of directors.

The statement said that the new board of directors, to be appointed at the meeting, would subsequently select a management team for Oando Plc.

The  source  in Oando told NAN that  the company received SEC’s letter on its   forensic audit outcome at the close of work on Friday.

“They sent us a letter on Friday evening, it is today we will send them our own response; they have not given us time to send our own response, and they have put an interim management.

“In the letter they sent, they said they gave us up till July 1, to conduct an EGM to appoint a new board and management.

“We don’t understand what is happening, but we are speaking to our lawyers before we will do an official statement,” he said.

On police presence at the company’s headquarters, the source said: “I don’t understand what is going on.

“They are just trying to scare people away.

“It is one thing  if you are saying Wale Tinubu and Mr Omamofe Boyo should step down, it is another thing when you are doing things that will negatively impact the company; shareholders have money  there.

“The e shareholders are going to lose money, they are speaking to their lawyers, we will do a proper press statement.

“I don’t understand what is going on, people are scared seeing policemen around, this is their livelihood.

“There are policemen in our office, they have not chased any worker away, everybody is working but not directly from the office,”

He told NAN that he did not know if the interim management team had assumed office.

When contacted, sources at SEC said that the commission would speak  on the issue as soon as possible.

Source NAN

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