Shareholders applaud Court Ruling on Oando’s AGM, SEC reactsreacts

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Shareholders applaud Court Ruling on Oando’s AGM, SEC reactsreacts
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Leaders of some Shareholders’ Associations have commended the court judgement in favor of Oando Plc to hold its Annual General Meeting (AGM) which has been suspended since two years ago by the capital market apex regulator, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

They said the ruling was a welcome development to the entire shareholders of Oando Plc, a leading Africa’s energy solutions providers with a primary listing on The Nigeria Stock Exchange (NSE) and secondary listing on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE).

A High Court  at the Federal Capital Territory Tuesday nullified the Security and Exchange Commission’s (SEC’s ) indefinite suspension of Oando Plc’s Annual General Meeting (AGM), two years ago, following the forensic report on the company’s financial performance. The Court ruled that shareholders of the company have the right of association and assembly to hold an AGM.

The judgment followed a suit filed by Mr. Patrick Ajudua, an Oando shareholder, who challenged SEC’s suspension order.

However, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has denied the court judgement in a notice obtained on its website on Wednesday, while cautioning investing publics that “it was never at any time served with court processes with respect to the purported matter at the FCT High court”.

Reacting to the development, the National Coordinator, Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria (ISAN), Dr. Anthony Omojola said the judgement came at a time when shareholders were expecting it to be resolved and deepen the capital market activities.

He emphasized that the court ruling on Oando should be respected while citing May 31, 2019 letter of SEC to Oando sanctioning its management, as unconstitutional, null and void, and violation of shareholder’s fundamental right to assemble for the company’s AGM.

According to him, Oando was actually having issue of forensic audit report with the SEC. “…But as shareholders, we don’t think SEC should bar us from assembling for a meeting where critical decisions that can enhance the company’s productivity should be taken”, he said.

Corroborating Omojola, the President of Shareholders United Front, Mr. Gbenga Idowu, also applauded the court judgement. He said since court is the last hope of a common man, whatever it says should be seen and accepted as the final.

Mr. Idowu further explained that if shareholders had assembled earlier to carry placards with various inscriptions on them, it would not have had much impact like what the court says according to the rule of law.

The duo of both Omojola and Idowu in a separate interview with The Kernel Wednesday, maintained that SEC should focus on  ts regulatory activities to attract more investors to the nation’s capital market.

They also argued that SEC could not deny the court ruling as it was represented at the court the Commission would be served the ruling.

Efforts to confirm SEC’s denial of the court judgement on Oando to hold its AGM through its Head of Corporate Communications, Efe Ebelo was unsuccessful as she missed phone calls from our reporters before the press time.

But SEC in a statement says “The attention of the Securities and Exchange Commission (the Commission) has been drawn to several publications in the media, where it is reported that a shareholder of Oando Plc , purportedly obtained a judgment from the Federal Capital Territory High Court against the Commission.

“ The Commission wishes to inform the general public that it was never at any time served with court processes with respect to the purported matter at the FCT High court. The Commission will consequently take all necessary steps to verify and set aside the purported decision of the said Court”, according to the statement.

Meanwhile, at the close of trading yesterday,  the share price of Oando Plc appreciated by 31kbo or 10 percent increase to close at N3.41 from the opening value of N3.1 per share following the court ruling.

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