SEC: We Are Committed to Conducting Forensic Probe into Oando

Reps demand recall of suspended SEC DG

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Tuesday restated its decision to conduct a forensic exercise into the activities of Oando Plc.

Meanwhile, the SEC, yesterday, stated that it will go ahead with the conduct of a forensic exercise on Oando Plc despite the suspension of Gwarzo.

Gwarzo was earlier suspended by the Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, on Wednesday, November 9, over the allegation of financial impropriety and to allow for an unhindered investigation of several allegations of financial impropriety leveled against him.

Funds missing under his watch so far runs into billions preliminary investigation, has shown unofficially.

Suspended alongside Mr. Gwarzo were two officials of the regulatory commission, Abdulsalam Habu, Head of Media Division, and Anastasia Braimoh, Head of Legal Department.

In a statement by Head of Corporate Communications, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Bagudu Waziri, the apex capital market regulator assured the general public of its zero tolerance to infractions in the Nigerian capital market. Nigerians should know why the minister can not be investigated.

In his remarks, Sani Kaita (APC, Katsina) pointed out that SEC is a very sensitive and very important organisation to Nigeria and the worldwide community and the House should be involved in the investigation of the issues.

However, while these and other allegations were being probed, a petition was filed against Gwarzo for paying himself a severance package as a former executive commissioner of SEC, a position from where he was made DG.

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However, it lost this bid at the court because the presiding judge, Justice Mohammed Aikawa, threw out the case for lack of jurisdiction, advising Oando to take the matter to an Investment and Securities Tribunal (IST), which has the powers to hear disputes arising from the capital market.

That the commission is not aware of the existence of any valid or subsisting order of court restraining the commission from proceeding with the forensic audit.

The suspension, according to SEC, was to enable it to conduct a forensic audit into the affairs of Oando, which has dual listing on the NSE and JSE.

Daily Trust also discovered that Oando has filed a notice of appeal challenging the judgement of the high court.

The committee is expected to report back in two weeks.

"The Nigerian people should be told why the infractions of Oando would be swept under the carpet".

Effort to get Oando's spokesperson, Alero Balogun to hint at the company's next line of action did not yield result as he was said to be in a management meeting up to the time of filing this report.

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