As SEC opposes joiner move
By Innocent Anaba
LAGOS—-A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, yesterday, adjourned till July 4, 2019, to hear the joiner application by Oando Plc, in which it is praying to be joined in the suit by two Chief Executive Officers of the company (Oando Plc) against Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, seeking to enforce their rights.
SEC has, however, opposed the joiner application.
The Group Chief Executive Officer of Oando Plc, Mr. Adewale Tinubu, and his Deputy, Mr. Omamofe Boyo in the suit are seeking the enforcement of their fundamental rights, following SEC order that the applicants and other affected board members resign, over alleged infractions.
On June 2, SEC further announced that it had set up an interim management team to be headed by Mr. Mutiu Sunmonu, to oversee the affairs of the company and conduct an extraordinary general meeting on or before July 1.
It said that the new board of directors would subsequently select a management team for Oando Plc.
Dissatisfied with the situation, the applicants headed to court, contending that the alleged infractions and penalties were unsubstantiated, ultra vires, invalid and calculated to prejudice the business of the company.
They had on June 3, 2019 obtained an ex-parte order from Justice Mojisola Olatoregun, restraining SEC from giving effect to its decision.
The court restrained SEC, its servants or agents from taking any step concerning the commission’s letter dated May 31, 2019 in which it barred the applicants from being directors.
The main suit was consequently, assigned to Justice Ayotunde Faji.
At the resumed hearing of the case, yesterday, counsel to Oando, Mr. Yele Delano, SAN, had expressed the company’s intention to be joined in the suit as well as seeking the consolidation of similar suits pending before the court.
In response, counsel to SEC, Chief Anthony Idigbe, SAN, objected to the application for joinder, arguing “My Lord, this matter was adjourned till today (yesterday) for hearing and I am prepared to go on.”
In a short ruling, the court held that it was far reaching to think that the grant of an adjournment to enable a party file a motion would be considered prejudicial to the defence.
On that note, the court adjourned the case until July 4 to hear arguments on the motion for joinder, consolidation and also fixed July 22 for hearing of the substantive suit.
In an earlier case, the court adjourned till July 22, 2019, for hearing in the suit seeking the judicial review of SEC’s decision.