Lagos, Nigeria – On Thursday, February 25, 2021, the Federal High Court, Abuja (under presiding Judge Giwa-Ogunbanjo), the three (3) suits between Oando PLC, (Oando), its Principals, Group Chief Executive, Adewale Tinubu, and Deputy Group Chief Executive, Omamofe Boyo; and its Group Chief Financial Officer, Olufemi Adeyemo; and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) came up for judgement.
The Court declined jurisdiction to hear the Fundamental Rights suits on its merits, stating that the Investment Securities Tribunal (IST) is the appropriate forum to hear the matter.
The Judge, therefore, declined to assume jurisdiction over the suits and struck out the same. As such the suits were not determined on their merits.
The Company is of the opinion that the judgement is misconceived and as such has appealed the decision on the grounds that the powers conferred by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on its citizens to enforce their fundamental rights supersede the provisions of the Investment and Securities Act 2007.
Furthermore, the Company and its Principals have filed applications for stay of execution as well as an injunction pending appeal in respect of the judgement of the Federal High court, Abuja in relation to SEC’s May 31, 2019 letter to the Company (refer to footnote).
It is important to note that the following related suits are pending before various courts:
Judicial Review Actions
(i) Mr. Jubril Adewale Tinubu & Anor vs SEC (Suit No: FHC/L/CS/911/19)
(ii) Oando PLC vs SEC (Suit No: FHC/L/CS/1031/19)
These suits were instituted by Oando PLC and its Principals, asking the court to
exercise its supervisory jurisdiction over SEC by way of a judicial review of SEC’s
decisions as contained in its May 31, 2019 letter.
2. Shareholder Actions
(i) Engr. Patrick Ajudua vs SEC & Oando Plc (FCT/HC/BW/CV/347/2020)
This matter was instituted by a shareholder of Oando PLC at the High Court of the FCT, Abuja and judgment was given in respect thereof on February 23, 2021, to the effect that SEC’s May 31, 2019 letter is illegal, null and void and of no effect, amongst others.
(ii) Alhaji Yakubu M. Gumel & ORS vs SEC & Oando Plc (FHC/KN/CS/17/2021)
This matter was instituted by certain shareholders of Oando PLC at the Federal high court, Kano. The said shareholders obtained various interim orders against SEC pending the determination of the substantive suit. These include an interim order restraining SEC from acting on its May 31, 2019, letter.
From the foregoing, SEC is restrained from acting on its findings and carrying out any of the sanctions specified in its May 31, 2019 letter. As such the status quo that existed before yesterday’s ruling remains unchanged and Oando PLC’s current management team remains in place.
The Company reiterates its unwavering commitment to its regulatory obligations and support for the Nigerian Government’s effort to enhance the oil and gas sector, however, all actions taken to date have been predicated on the belief that the SEC has shown bias, a lack of due process and fair hearing in its dealings with the Company.
Furthermore, the Company would like to assure the public of its commitment to taking the necessary steps to protect its business and assets while always acting in the best interest of its shareholders as well as other key stakeholders.