Oando/Ansbury shareholder controversy: Reps give SEC 2 weeks to conclude investigation

From Kemi Yesufu, Abuja

The House of Representatives Committee on Capital Market and Institutions has granted the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) leave to investigate the tussle between Oando Oil Plc and Ansbury Investment over share value and ownership structure in the company. 

This was sequel to the disclosure by SEC Director General, Munir Gwarzo, during a closed session with the Tajudeen Yusuf-led committee, that he had constituted a technical committee to investigate alleged infractions in the sale of Oando’s shares to investors. 

SEC was given two weeks to conclude its findings and report back to the committee.

Gwarzo appeared before the committee yesterday, following last Tuesday’s summons by the House Committee to provide explanations on its intervention in the dispute. 

In the past few months, Oando Oil management and Ansbury Investments have been engaged in a tussle over the ownership structure and share value of Oando Oil Plc.

Recall also that shareholders of Oando Plc from South-West states had staged a protest in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, last week, alleging the firm was in a poor financial position.

Yusuf, in response to Daily Sun’s enquiries on why the committee conducted an executive session with the SEC delegation, said it would be inappropriate for the committee to commence an investigation into the matter when the regulatory agency was already doing same.

He, however, explained that the committee had directed shareholders to forward petitions to it if there were infractions that haven’t been covered in the cases being looked into by SEC.

“We were informed by SEC that it set up a technical committee consisting of highly experienced chartered accountants to investigate the matter. As parliament, we are fully committed to promoting investors confidence in the capital market and because of this, we have given SEC two weeks to carry out investigations on the matter,” he said.

Deputy Chairman of the committee, Tony Nwulu, had in a letter with reference number: HOR/CCMI/0050/17/9, notified the commission’s Director General of reports in the media on the controversy over the share value and ownership structure of Oando Plc as being contested by one Gabriel Volpi of Ausbury Investment and Group Chief Executive Officer of Oando Oil, Wale Tinubu.

The committee, in the letter made available to journalists, expressed worry over protests that characterised the company’s recent Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Uyo, and the number of petitions forwarded to it by concerned individuals and groups within the capital market sector of the economy.

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