Johannesburg Exchange lifts ban on Oando shares as shareholders demand Adeosun’s sack

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The Johannesburg Stock Exchange, JSE, has lifted suspension on trading in the shares of Nigerian oil major, Oando Plc.

According to the notice seen by Naija247news the bourse said it would act based on information from the primary listing of the company, the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).

The notice, dated April 12, said the suspension would be lifted April 13.

“The JSE will accordingly lift the suspension in trade in the Company’s shares with effect from commencement of business tomorrow, 13 April 2018,” the notice said.

The company has in the last two quarters been enmeshed in controversies.

On October 18, 2017, the NSE announced that it had placed the shares of the company on ‘full suspension for 48 hours.’ The exchange, thereafter on October 23, 2017, announced that it had placed the shares of the company on ‘technical suspension.’

The JSE, acting on a correspondence from the NSE, also suspended trading on the shares of the company.

The NSE informed the company that the suspension of its shares by the NSE was done in compliance with a directive issued to it by SEC. SEC issued the directive following petition submitted to it by two aggrieved shareholders of the company.

Last Wednesday the NSE lifted its six months suspension on the orders of Nigeria’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Confusion arose a few hours after it lifted the suspension decision as the NSE briefly re-imposed the suspension with claims that it received a counter directive from SEC.

The company’s suspension was however fully lifted Thursday and its shares promptly appreciated 10 percent.

In the notice released ahead of its decision to lift the suspension last Friday, the JSE said there was no price sensitive information on the company’s stocks.

“Shareholders are further advised that there is no price sensitive information to be released prior to the lifting of the suspension on the JSE,” the South African bourse said.

Adeosun’s sack

Meanwhile three shareholders’ groups have call for the immediate sack of the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, for her unwholesome interference on the affairs of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

They described the minister’s decision to reassigns portfolios in SEC as “unnecessarily meddling” with the functions of the commission, which has caused severe damage to the capital market.

Specifically, the National President of Trusted Shareholders Association of Nigeria (TSAN), Alhaji Mukhtar Ismail Mukhtar; the National Coordinator, Proactive Shareholders Association (PROSAN), Taiwo Oderinde; and the Coordinator, Oando Shareholders Solidarity Group (OSSG), in a joint statement on Sunday, said Adeosun has inevitably caused untold harm both to the independence of SEC and the nation’s capital market in her desperate attempt to shield Oando from probe.

The statement reads: “We wish to bring the attention of His Excellency President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and all Nigerians to the unwholesome, unpatriotic and strange actions of the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun with regards to the probe of Oando Plc.”

Speaking on behalf of the groups, Oderinde said: “You may recall that since early last year, Oando has been enmeshed in series of crises bordering on abuse of corporate governance and alleged gross financial mismanagement.

“The internal auditors of Oando Plc, Messrs Ernst & Young, in the company’s financial report last year expressed doubts over its ability to continue as a going concern because its liabilities exceeded its assets.

“As concerned shareholders, we sent petitions to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and to the House of Representatives Committee on Capital Market.

“The committee mandated SEC to investigate these allegations, culminating in the setting up of a committee by SEC to carry out a preliminary investigation of the company’s affairs.

“SEC’s preliminarily investigation, as disclosed by the commission in a letter dated October 17, 2017 signed by its Head of Legal unit, Braimoh Anastasia, unearthed several malpractices in the company.

These include insider trading, decoration of dividends from unrealised profits, release of false financial statements to the public and the disposal of assets without the knowledge of the regulatory body in contravention of the Investment and Securities Act (ISA) 2007, among several other infractions.

“These weighty findings compelled the suspension of Oando shares on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange and the Johannesburg Stock Exchangeto pave way for a more thorough investigation.”

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Samson Gbenga Salau [Editorial Board Adviser] Gbenga Samuel Salau is a professional journalist with over 17 years experience in journalism, he is a graduate of Communication and Language Arts, University of Ibadan. On completion of his youth service, he joined The Guardian as a freelance journalist and was later absorbed as a staff. While in the University, he was a campus journalist reporting for the Independence Hall and Faculty of Arts Press Clubs. As a campus journalist, he won the following awards; Independence Hall Press Best News writer; University of Ibadan Union of Campus Journalists’ Best News Reporter/Writer; First Runner-up, Reuben Abati Award for Investigative Journalism; Association of Faculty of Arts Students’ Press Best Reporter; University of Ibadan Union of Campus Journalists’ Best Political Writer; Winner, Reuben Abati Award for Investigative Journalism, and University of Ibadan Union of Campus Journalists’ Best Interviewer. He served the Association of Communication and Language Arts Students, as the Public Relation Officer, the same year he was appointed the News Editor of the Association of Faculty of Arts Students Press. The following session, he was made the General Editor, and a member of the 13-man University of Ibadan Students’ Union Transition Committee. As a reporter in The Guardian, in 2014, he won the Promasidor Quill Award Best Report on Nutrition and DAME Business Reporting category. In the 2015 edition of the Promasidor Quill Award, he won the best Report on Nutrition and Brand Advocate Categories, while in 2016, he won the NMMA Print Journalist of the Year, first runner-up Golden Pen Reporter of the Year and SERAs CSR Awards. Gbenga Salau loves traveling, reading, and listening to songs with good lyrics no matter the genre.

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