By Nkiruka Nnorom
Shareholders of Oando Plc yesterday slammed the Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, over the suspension of the company’s 2018 Annual General Meeting, AGM, barely 24 hours to the meeting.
They stressed that the cancellation without due consideration of the cost implication to the parties involved smacks of insensitivity on the part of the Commission to the plight of the minority shareholders and called on the federal government to urgently intervene in the on-going crisis.
Many minority shareholders of Oando who seemed unaware of the suspension, graced the event from different parts of the country only to discover at the venue that the AGM has been put on hold by the apex regulator of the Nigeria capital market.
Speaking to Vanguard on the issue, Mr. Patrick Ajudua, National Chairman, New Dimension Shareholders Association, described SEC’s action as “an extreme case of absolute power corrupts absolutely”, adding that speedy execution of various actions against the company within a space of few days leaves much to be desired.
“SEC was notified of the meeting 21 days ago and it gave the company the approval to proceed, only to turn around and cancel it without minding the cost implication to the company, shareholders, stakeholders and associates.
“As shareholders, we call on our President, Vice President and members of National Assembly to call the management of SEC, who has been operating without a Board in the past four years, to order. They need to do this now to save the only prospering indigenous oil company, its enduring shareholders, the capital market and the nation from the erosion of confidence in the capital market and the economy at large,” he said.
Comrade Lawrence Oguntoye, President, Distinct Shareholders Association, noted that SEC’s action against the valid Oando AGM is an injustice and infringement on the rights of the shareholders.
He said: “Most shareholders who came from very far states were disgraced and highly disappointed at venue. SEC ought to have considered the minority shareholders if truly it is protecting our interest, but it seems there is a skeleton in SEC’s cupboard apart from this forensic report. This is not fair considering the fact that shareholders’ funds has been eroded today, share price has dropped drastically, not to talk of negative state of mind of investors.”