Oando Plc Forensic Audit Different From ETI’s- Group

Following the statement by management of Oando Plc that the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) did not offer it fair hearing in the course of its forensic investigation (READ MORE), a group under the aegis of the Consolidated Capital Market Stakeholders Forum (CCMSF), on Tuesday faulted attempts by the energy giant to compare the current scenario with those before like Ecobank Transnational Incorporated and Cadbury Nigeria.
In a statement to our correspondent by Umar Usman, CCMSF clarified, for example, that while what Deloitte carried out on Oando was forensic, that of ETI was a corporate governance audit.
“The scopes were totally different,” besides the fact that the management and board of ETI, the parent company of the Ecobank Group cooperated with SEC and did not drag the SEC to court, or engaged in a media war with the commission.
“In the first place Oando took SEC to court, they were not cooperative from the beginning, unlike ETI. ETI was corporative from beginning to the end Scope of the assignment was also totally different,” Usman added.
On why the forensic audit was submitted to the SEC, the commission said it commissioned the exercise, adding that the auditors indeed engage Oando’s officials and that the aim of forensic audit is information gathering on a subject matter that can be presented in a law court.
Continuing, CCMSF alleged that Oando initially resisted the auditors and only allowed the forensic audit to proceed much later, “after they had taken SEC to court and questioned its powers to carry out the audit.”
He alleged that the audit merely corroborated the investigation earlier conducted by the commission and that the management had every opportunity to present their facts, and should stop carrying on as if the company’s explanation must be accepted.
“They had the opportunity to give explanations entitled was not satisfactory.
“The chairman and MD of ETI had to leave their positions in their time, they did not question the SEC… They left and did not take SEC to court to question its powers. The same way Oando has given the explanation and these are not satisfactory, they cannot insist that Sec must follow what they are saying about.
“ETI too had presented explanations, but SEC was not satisfied and went ahead to take action, after their removal, they never went to court to say that SEC does not have the powers.”
Oando, he said, was allowed an opportunity by the commission to offer explanations, but that the explanations were not satisfactory, stressing that the law does not say that the Administrative Proceedings Committee (APC) must be convened before any company is sanctioned.
“The choice of APC is at the discretion of SEC management. The law does not say APC must be convened before a company can be sanctioned. SEC has its own processes and rules that it follows,” Usman added.
Rather than disparaging the SEC on the pages of newspapers, he the company and other stakeholders to join in the task of building “strong institutions in this country if we are really interested in fighting corruption.”