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Conflicting Judgments: Oando AGM Stays Suspended, As Part Of Status Quo, SEC Says

Nigeria’s Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC), on Friday urged stakeholders to the conflicts between it and Oando Plc, an energy giant listed on the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) and the Jo’burg Exchange, to maintain the status quo, especially given the conflicting judgments by various High Courts in the country and pending appeals.

Maintaining status pending the determination of the cases and the appeals, the commission hinted, is based on an advice to its management by Olasupo Shasore SAN (acting as counsel to the Appellants) via the letter dated February 25, 2021.

Status quo, in this situation, the commission noted in a statement, means that Oando Plc’s Annual General Meeting remains suspended, promising to “update relevant stakeholders and the public on the outcome of the ongoing litigations.”

Recall that Oando Plc had scheduled to hold the suspended AGM at the Zinnia Hall, Eko Hotels and Suites, Plot 1415, Adetokunbo Ademola Street, Victoria Island, Lagos on Tuesday, June 11, 2019 at 10:00am.

Tracing the genesis of the suspension, the statement recalled that “in 2017, the commission received petitions from two shareholders of Oando Plc alleging corporate governance lapses, mismanagement of the company etc.

“The commission conducted investigations into the activities of Oando Plc and observed certain infractions and violations of securities laws by some members of the board of the company.

“To protect public interest and the integrity of the capital market, the Commission sanctioned the company and the affected directors via it’s letter dated May 31, 2019,” following which it said, Oando Plc instituted several cases in court challenging the directives in the Commission’s letter.

Giving implications of the various judgment, the commission noted that “one judgment of the Federal High Court, Lagos (as mentioned above) has held that the Federal High Court Nigeria lacks the jurisdiction to entertain the dispute as the jurisdiction lies with the Investments & Securities Tribunal.

“Three judgments of the Federal High Court, Abuja (as mentioned above) have held that the Federal High Court Nigeria lacks the jurisdiction to entertain the dispute as the jurisdiction lies with the IInvestments& Securities Tribunal.

“One judgment of the Federal Capital Territory, High Court Bwari Abuja (as mentioned above) has held that the Federal Capital Territory High Court Abuja has the jurisdiction to entertain the matter and granted the reliefs sought by the Applicants.

“One judgment of the Federal High Court, Kano (as mentioned above) has held that the Federal High Court Nigeria has the jurisdiction to entertain the dispute and granted the reliefs against the Commission,” it added.

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