SEC renews decision on conduct of Oando forensic audit

Alicia Farmer
December 6, 2017

The minister however denied the allegation, saying Gwarzo's suspension was to make way for an unhindered investigations into allegations of financial impropriety levelled against him. The motion was unanimously adopted after it was put to a voice vote by the Speaker, Yakubu Dogara. The motion was titled, "The need to intervene in the ongoing conflict between finance minister and suspended SEC DG".

The suspension, according to SEC, was to enable it to conduct a forensic audit into the affairs of Oando, which has dual listing on the NSE and JSE.

The decision of the House followed the adoption of a motion of urgent national importance by Diri Duoye (PDP, Bayelsa), who alleged that the conflict between Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun and the suspended DG, Mounir Gwarzo over Oando forensic audit and corruption allegation were major factors in the events that led to the suspension.

"The intervention by the House will put the matter in proper perspective and an amicable resolution of the conflict in order to protect the image of the Securities and Exchange Commission in the interest of both local and foreign investors", he stated. Toby Okechukwu (Enugu State) said that the rot in SEC apparently contributed to the collapse of the capital market in Nigeria.

The Commission, in a statement, said it has written to Oando Plc yesterday of its commitment to conduct the forensic exercise on the company's activities.

The Nigerian Senate has thrown its full weight behind the forensic audit of Oando Plc, a leading oil firm in the country.

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In a statement by Head of Corporate Communications, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Bagudu Waziri, the apex capital market regulator assured the general public of its zero tolerance to infractions in the Nigerian capital market.

The letter, which was signed by the Acting Director-General of SEC, Abdul Zubair, said the forensic auditors would be at the premises of Oando from Wednesday to undertake the audit.

SEC said that while a Notice of Appeal has been filed to challenge the judgment of the Federal High Court, the notice does not serve as an Order of Court restraining the Commission from conducting the exercise.

"The Commission will also without let or hindrance, continue to be faithful to its developmental mandates as enunciated in the Investments and Securities Act".

"We want transparency and accountability in our market and that is why our shareholders are supporting the exercise". Deloitte and the other firms were brought in to validate the probe already done by SEC for the past three months, adding that it is only after the audit by external experts that the commission would take a final decision on Oando.

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