A Federal High Court in Kano has ruled that the Security and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) intervention in Oando Plc management without sharing the forensic audit report that led to the sanctions against the company and concerned directors was illegal.
It also said the SEC acted arbitrarily in suspending the management of Oando, and therefore reversed the appointment of the interim management.
- Shoot them or talk to them? What Nigeria must do with its bandits
- Subsidy removal: Fuel may sell for N230 per litre
The court, therefore, awarded a N250,000 cost against the SEC in favour of the Oando shareholders, saying SEC acted within the scope of its powers.
The presiding judge, Justice A. Lewis Allagoa, also dismissed the SEC preliminary objection and granted all the reliefs sought by the Oando shareholders.
They are Alhaji Yakubu Gumel, Alhaji Kabiru Tambari, his Sokoto Zone Shareholders Association; Tunde Badmus, and his Pacesetters Shareholders Association.
The court further granted all the prayers sought by the Oando shareholders.
The court dismissed SEC’s objection on the basis that the shareholders’ claims fall under their rights according to the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA), and is, therefore, not a capital markets issue; hence it is completely under the jurisdiction of the court under Section 251 of the constitution.
In February, the High Court in Abuja ruled in favour of another Oando shareholder, Patrick Ajudua, who filed a suit against the commission for breach of his rights as a shareholder. The court ordered Oando to hold its annual general meeting within 90 days of the ruling.
Shareholders have, over the last four years, called for the SEC and Oando to reach an amicable agreement or resolution so the company’s management can focus on running the business
The shareholders in Kano called the ruling a big win. Alhaji Tambari Kabiru, one of the applicants, an Oando shareholder since 1991, was excited about the ruling.
“This is a great win for the shareholders. We have endured too much pain these past four years. To worsen it, we had no oversight of what was going on in the company.
“We can’t continue like this, especially in these trying times when every penny counts.”
Daily Trust findings revealed that the top management of the SEC was involved in a meeting as at the time of the report, with a strong leaning towards an appeal.