By Obas Esiedesa
Two years after it imposed sanctions on Oando Plc, the Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, on Monday said it has reached a settlement over with the indigenous oil company “in the overriding interest of the shareholders of the company and the capital market”.
The Commission in a Circular released in Abuja and signed by the management said all litigations on the matter would be withdrawn immediately.
According to the statement, “the company has reached a settlement with the Commission on the following terms amongst others: Immediate withdrawal of all legal actions filed by the company and all affected directors; Payment of all monetary penalties stipulated in the Commission’s letter of May 31, 2019; and an undertaking by the company to implement corporate governance improvements.
“Part of the terms also requires the submission by the company of quarterly reports on its compliance with the terms of the Settlement Agreement; the Investments and Securities Act, 2007; the SEC Rules and Regulations; the National Code of Corporate Governance and the SEC Guidelines to the Code of Corporate Governance”.
SEC added: “Pursuant to the powers conferred on the Securities and Exchange Commission by the Investments and Securities Act 2007, and the Rules and Regulations made pursuant thereto, the Commission on Thursday, July 15, 2021, entered into a Settlement with Oando Plc.
“The Commission in its letter to the Company dated May 31, 2019, gave certain directives and imposed sanctions on the Company, following investigations conducted pursuant to two petitions filed with the Commission in 2017.
“The company and some of its affected directors had challenged the said directives in a series of suits commenced at the Federal High Court. However, the company subsequently approached the Commission for a settlement of the matter, and both parties have now agreed to settle in consideration of the impact that a further prolonged period of litigation would have on the company’s shareholders and the value of their investments as well as remedial measures to be put in place by the Company in enhancing its corporate governance practices and strengthening its internal control environment”.
SEC reiterated its commitment to ensuring the fairness, transparency and integrity of the capital market, while upholding its mandate to protect investors.
The commission had in May 2019 suspended Oando Plc Group Chief Executive, Wale Tinubu and his deputy over corporate governance infractions. It also suspended the company’s annual general meeting.