Oando shareholders call for finance minister’s sacking

’Femi Asu

Shareholders of Oando Plc have asked President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately sack the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, for what they describe as “her unwholesome interference” in the nation’s capital market.

The National President of Trusted Shareholders Association of Nigeria, Alhaji Mukhtar Mukhtar; the National Coordinator, Proactive Shareholders Association, Mr. Taiwo Oderinde, and the Coordinator, Oando Shareholders Solidarity Group, in a joint statement on Sunday, accused the minister of trying to shield Oando from being probed by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Oderinde alleged that the forensic audit of Oando had been stalled due to the “unwholesome interference by Mrs. Kemi Adeosun to the detriment of Oando shareholders and the entire Nigerian capital market.”

 According to the statement, SEC’s preliminary investigation, as disclosed by the commission in a letter dated October 17, 2017 and signed by its Head of Legal unit, Braimoh Anastasia, unearthed several malpractices in the company.

It said, “These (infractions) include insider trading, decoration of dividends from unrealised profits, release of false financial statements to the public and the disposal of assets without the knowledge of the regulatory body in contravention of the Investment and Securities Act 2007.”

 Oderinde noted that the findings compelled the suspension of Oando shares on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange and the Johannesburg Stock Exchange to pave the way for a more thorough investigation via a forensic audit ordered by SEC.

The statement said, “It must concern Mr. President, Mr. Vice President and all Nigerians that Mrs. Adeosun has now removed two SEC DGs from their positions all in a desperate attempt to shield Wale Tinubu and the present management of Oando from probe. These men have been sacked from their positions because they refused to stop the probe of Oando.

“Zubair was sacked because he initially resisted Adeosun’s attempt to forcefully remove the suspension placed on the shares of Oando to preserve investors’ funds. Unfortunately, she had her way and the lifting of the suspension is part of a grand plan to sweep the weighty allegations against Oando under the carpet.”

The shareholders described the development as a negation of the anti-corruption stance of the present administration and a systematic destruction of the Nigerian capital market.

They said, “The show of shame exhibited last week where the Nigerian Stock Exchange was made to implement three different directives with regard to the suspension of Oando shares within 24 hours should worry the Federal Government and well-meaning Nigerians. It sent very bad and negative signals to investors all over the world. The attendant negative impact of Adeosun’s meddlesomeness to protect some entrenched interests will haunt the market for a long time to come.”

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Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka

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