No Controversy Over Lifting Oando’s Suspension – SEC

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The Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, on Thursday said there was no controversy over the lifting of the suspension on trading on the shares of Oando Plc. The acting Director-General, SEC, Abdul Zubair, explained to newsmen in Abuja why it directed the Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE, to lift the technical suspension placed on the shares of Oando Plc. He said before the decision was reached, the management of Oando  as well as the umbrella body of all shareholders’ union in the company visited SEC and made written submissions for the suspension to be lifted. He said the decision to lift the suspension was also sequel to the withdrawal of all litigations by the company and shareholders challenging the suspension. He further stated that the suspension of shares from trading on the floor of the NSE was usually for a short period, but that of Oando extended beyond the normal period owing to litigations instituted by the shareholders and Oando. “As a result of the court cases, the commission as a law abiding agency of government was constrained to continue with the forensic audit or lift the suspension. “However with the withdrawal of the suit in February, the forensic audit being carried out by Deloitte has resumed while the technical suspension has been lifted,” he said. Zubair reiterated that an independent forensic audit was still being carried out by Deliotte, an auditing firm and that if Oando was found to have broken any rules,  it would be sanctioned accordingly. The SEC boss revealed that the commission would soon receive the preliminary findings on Oando Plc from Deloitte. He, however, said since it was an independent audit, there was no time limit to the duration of the audit, thus its conclusion would depend on the situation the audit firm meets. Zubair said contrary to speculations,  there was no disagreement between SEC and the NSE in the process of lifting the suspension. He said the commission was aware that its letter directing the “immediate” lifting of suspension was subject to the 48 hours rules of the capital market. Speaking on reports that the trading on the shares of Oando resumed on Wednesday only to be halted later, leading to confusion among capital market watchers, Zubair said SEC was awaiting reports from the NSE. He reiterated that the commission had nothing to do with the halt on Wednesday as it had already given the NSE the directive to lift the 176-day technical suspension since April 9. Meanwhile, the shares of Oando Plc, which officially resumed trading on Thursday rose by 10 per cent to close at N6.60 per share.
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