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SEC Commences Forensic Audit Of Oando Plc

SEC Commences Forensic Audit Of Oando Plc

The legislators also asked the parties in the matter between SEC and the Minister of Finance to maintain status quo, pending the outcome of the investigation.

Suspended alongside Mr. Gwarzo were two officials of the regulatory commission, Abdulsalam Habu, Head of Media Division, and Anastasia Braimoh, Head of Legal Department.

Gwarzo was not immediately available for comment on Tuesday.

Lawmakers said there had been allegations of interference by the finance ministry in the discharge of SEC responsibilities, particularly issues related to the forensic audit of Oando, which was largely responsible for Gwarzo's suspension.

However, in their contributions to the debate, some members called for investigation into the financial operations of SEC, including the alleged abuses by Gwarzo. Also, the circumstances of the internal dispute between the DG and the minister should be probed.

"What is happening in SEC is symptomatic of the collapse of capital market". Nigerians should know why the minister can not be investigated. I wouldn't know why infractions should be swept under the carpet. A total panel of inquiry is needed in SEC, " he said.

Gwarzo's suspension comes a month after the SEC began its own investigation into the shareholding structure of oil company Oando Plc and froze trading of the company's shares.

Reports had emerged that the SEC DG was suspended for refusing to halt the forensic probe of Oando Plc, although Adeosun's office denied the allegation.

The statement from the Commission came on the heels of corruption allegation against three suspended staff, which are the former Director-General, Mounir Gwarzo, over N104 million severance package.

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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. We have to restore confidence of investors in the capital market and if the audit will achieve this, so be it.

"We wish to restate that our Forensic Auditors had been directed to commence work since November 27, 2017 and as a result shall be at your premises on any date from Wednesday, December 6, 2017".

That the commission is aware that suit No: FHC/L/CS/1601/17: OANDO PLC V.

The presiding judge, Mohammed Aikawa, struck out the case on the grounds that the court lacked jurisdiction over the matter.

That the commission is not aware of the existence of any valid or subsisting order of court restraining the commission from proceeding with the forensic audit.

Daily Trust also discovered that Oando has filed a notice of appeal challenging the judgement of the high court.

A letter read out by the leader of the shareholders, Clement Ebitimi, had accused the Oando management of mismanagement, following allegations of infractions filed against it by Ansbury Inc., and Alhaji Dahiru Mangal on Wednesday, October 18, 2017.

Oando, which bought ConocoPhillips' Nigerian business for $1.65 billion in 2014, had gone to court to challenge the suspension of its shares by the SEC.