The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) wielded the big hammer on Friday against Wale Tinubu, banning him and his deputy, Omamofe Boyo from being directors of any publicly quoted company for five years.
The duo were punished over infractions committed as leaders of oil and energy company, Oando Plc.
SEC also demanded the resignation of Tinubu and other board members and the convening of an extra-ordinary general meeting before July 1 to appoint new directors.
In addition, Oando and the board members will pay unspecified penalties and refund “improperly disbursed remuneration”.
Oando had been under the scrutiny of the SEC over allegations about the company’s huge debt and petitions by some shareholders over corporate governance..
One of the petitions was from businessman, Alhaji Dahiru Mangal, who claimed to have 17.9 per cent of the company. Oando claimed he has only 4 per cent and that he is yet to disclose the ownership of the remaining 13.9 per cent in compliance with Section 95 of the Companies and Allied Matters Act, Cap. C20 LFN 2004 (‘CAMA’). Under a settlement brokered by the Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi 11, Oando officially confirmed Mangal as a substantial shareholder.
Oando also stated that in addition, subject to the provisions of the SEC Code, Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) and Oando’s board appointment process, its board of directors would consider the appointment of a representative for Mangal to the board.
“The representation will take the form of directorship from qualified individuals nominated by Alhaji Mangal. All Directors have a fiduciary duty to always act in the best interest of the Company and its stakeholders,” said the statement.
Another petitioner was the Italian businessman, Gabriele Volpi.Volpi who runs the troubled Intels in Nigeria claimed he invested in Oando via his company Ansbury Inc, by making equity contribution to Oando’s purchase of ConocoPhillips Nigeria assets.
But Oando shot back that Ansbury is not a shareholder of the company, but a shareholder in a company domiciled in a jurisdiction outside Nigeria.
Ansbury, Oando said, holds shares in a Nigerian investment company by the name of Ocean and Oil Development Partners (OODP) that is a shareholder in Oando PLC.
Both petitioners wanted to cash out from the company, but Oando refused to play ball, because the company is facing a serious financial crisis, occasioned by the big fall in oil prices, soon after it paid $800 million to buy ConocoPhillips in Nigeria.
SEC in 2018 said the commission carried out a comprehensive review of the petitions and found out the company allegedly breached the provisions of the Investments & Securities Act 2007.
It said Oando breached the SEC’s Code of Corporate Governance for Public Companies and was also guilty of suspected insider dealing.
“The Commission’s primary role as apex regulator of the Nigerian Capital Market is to regulate the market and protect the investing public.