The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) yesterday directed the consulting firm, Deloitte, to commence the forensic audit of the affairs of Oando Plc.
Disclosing this during a media briefing in Abuja, the Acting Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Abdul Zubair, said the directive was necessitated by the withdrawal of a lawsuit instituted by the oil marketing company against the Commission by an application heard and granted by the Court of Appeal on Monday.
Earlier, a Federal High Court had on February 21, 2018had heard and granted the application for withdrawal of a suit by the shareholders.
Zubair explained that following the dismissal and the striking out of the suits, the SEC had duly informed the firm of Deloitte to proceed with the forensic audit.
While recalling that the Commission had in 2017 conducted a preliminary investigation of Oando Plc, based on petitions received from shareholders of Oando Plc., and a whistleblower, the SEC boss said that based on some of the findings from the preliminary investigation, the Commission took steps to preserve shareholder value and protect the investing public.
Consequently, the SEC placed the shares of Oando Plc on technical suspension and ordered a forensic audit of the affairs of Oando Plc.
He said: “Subsequently, two lawsuits were respectively filed by Oando Plc., and some shareholders of Oando Plc, mainly to restrain the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) from effecting a technical suspension on the shares of Oando Plc and the SEC from appointing a team of forensic auditors to conduct a forensic audit of the company.
“Oando Plc. has withdrawn the pending lawsuit against the Commission by an application heard and granted by the Court of Appeal on March 05, 2018. Also the application for withdrawal by the shareholders was heard and granted by the Federal High Court on February 21, 2018.
“Following the dismissal and the striking out of the suits, the SEC has duly informed the firm of Deloitte to proceed with the forensic audit”, the SEC boss added.
He restated the Commission’s commitment to its mandate of protecting investors and determination to take all necessary steps to fulfil that mandate and uphold the integrity of the capital market.
Zubair also reassured the general public that consequent upon the removal of the legal impediments, the audit of the oil marketing company’s the books would be done in a transparent and thorough manner.