Exclusive: SEC’s Appointment of Mutiu Sunmonu to Head Interim Management at Oando, Lacked Legal Process

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Chief Executive Officer of Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC), Mutiu Sunmonu, speaks on the devastation of the Niger Delta region as a result of spills from oil thieves on March 22, 2013. Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC) has threatened to shut down production in April for nine days in the entire Nembe Creek Truck Line (NCTL) to remove a number of bunkering points on pipelines vandalised by oil thieves in the region. "Whenever we observe a spill, or have a spill on our lines, we shut down production to depressurize and isolate the line, only then can we safely repare our lines because it is then safe to manipulate the line", said Jurgen Jonzen, SPDC corporate pipeline asset manager. Last year, 157 bunkering points were removed and 116 were leaking on the whole SPDC exploitation. Since 2009, SPDC has exprienced an upsurge in vandalisation of pipeline network by criminals causing severe environmental devastation of the region and forcing the company to lose 60 000 barrels daily this year. AFP PHOTO / PIUS UTOMI EKPEI (Photo credit should read PIUS UTOMI EKPEI/AFP/Getty Images)

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The announcement by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Sunday June 2, 2019, on the alleged appointment of Mr. Mutiu Olaniyi Adio Sunmonu CON, to head an Interim Management Team at Oando may have been executed without recourse to due process. 

In response to Naija247news’s enquiry about the story circulating on various news platforms about the purported appointment, a very well-placed source at Oando disclosed that the company has not been made aware of any regulatory process taken ahead of such a critical announcement. “I can categorically confirm that Oando is not aware of any court order obtained by SEC to put an interim management team in place, a process that is critically necessary in circumstances such as this”, the source said. 
 
The source further revealed that there is a procedure that must be followed before the institution of an interim management team as the onus is on the SEC to convince a judge that the institution of an interim management team is the right thing to do before execution. “We also have no evidence to show that any orders have been conferred by the Investment & Securities Act (ISA) to SEC to carry out such drastic action. Thus the SECs action contravenes the ISA and Company & Allied Matters Act which is the legal framework for all private and publicly listed companies. This action as with recent actions taken by the SEC, appear calculated and with a view to prejudice the business of the Company. We believe this is a deliberate ploy by the SEC to ensure that the Company is unable to challenge and seek redress for the misdeeds of SEC against the Company” the source added.
 
The source states that the Company sees this action as an illegal act and that all persons involved are advised to seek legal advice. “Please note that Oando and its Board of Directors have not changed the Company’s management team. We respectfully request that the Federal Government call the SEC to order with immediate effect. In the interests of our shareholders, employees and other key stakeholders please note that it is very much business as usual”, the source said. 

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