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Oando Drags SEC to Appeal Court Over Technical Suspension

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Oando Plc
  • Oando Drags SEC to Appeal Court Over Technical Suspension

Oando Plc has headed for the Court of Appeal in its bid to lift the technical suspension imposed on its shares on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The oil company had earlier approached the Federal High Court in Lagos to challenge SEC’s suspension of its shares and an audit of its business activities by forensic experts hired by SEC.

Though Justice Rilwan Aikawa of the Federal High Court had earlier granted an interim injunction restraining SEC from carrying out the audit, the same judge, in a ruling on November 23, 2017, struck out Oando’s suit, saying he had no jurisdiction to entertain it.

The judge said the appropriate forum to ventilate the issue was the Investment and Securities Tribunal.

But displeased with the decision, Oando, through its lawyer, Mr. Seyi Sowemimo (SAN), went before the Court of Appeal seeking the reversal of Justice Aikawa’s ruling.

Sowemimo insisted that the Federal High Court rather than the IST was the appropriate forum to hear the case.

He said the judge erred in law to decline jurisdiction because “the suit touched and concerned the operation of a company incorporated under the Companies and Allied Matters Act.”

According to him, by virtue of Section 251(i) (e) of the constitution, the Federal High Court is empowered to entertain CAMA-related cases.

He is, therefore, urging the Court of Appeal to make an order “reversing the (Justice Aikawa’s) order striking out the suit and restoring the matter to the cause list of the Federal High Court for accelerated hearing.”

At the Monday’s proceedings before Justice Aikawa, Sowemimo informed the judge about the appeal and urged the judge to make an order “preserving the res to prevent the appeal from being rendered nugatory.”

But counsel for SEC and the Nigerian Stock Exchange, which was joined as the second defendant, Chief Anthony Idigbe (SAN), opposed Sowemimo’s application for the preservation of the res.

Idigbe argued that the issues canvassed by Oando in its appeal “are not substantial in law.”

He insisted that it was in the best interest of investors, shareholders and members of the general public that SEC placed Oando’s shares under technical suspension.

He said the technical suspension was to prevent panic and dumping of Oando’s shares by investors and members of the public.

Idigbe added that the technical suspension was temporary and was imposed to allow for an independent forensic audit of Oando’s business activities.

He said there was no point for Justice Aikawa to give an order preserving the res because “the suspension of the trading of the plaintiff’s shares in the Nigerian Stock Exchange has already been completed.”

“The forensic examination of the plaintiff’s business activities has already commenced and the parties are waiting for the report of the said investigation.

“The temporary suspension of trading of the shares is not a punitive action against the plaintiff but a device to protect the shares of the plaintiff from further decline because of the investigation.

“The undertaking of the forensic examination of the plaintiff by independent experts will not prevent a return to status quo if the appeal succeeds,” Idigbe added.

Sowemimo prayed for time to file a reply to Idigbe’s counter-affidavit.

Justice Aikawa adjourned further proceedings in the case till Wednesday, December 13.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

Business

BUA, Kainos Exploration to Drag Each Other to Court Over $20 Million Scandal

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BUA Group on Monday threatened to drag Mr James Onyejekwe, the Managing Director of Kainos Exploration to court over a publication that claimed the Group was involved in a $20 million scandal.

BUA stated in a statement issued on Monday.

It stated that the publication engineered by Mr Onyejekwe was a “clear intent to impugn the integrity and reputation of BUA Group and its Chairman, Mr Abdul Samad Rabiu.”

BUA takes its reputation seriously and we will continue to do everything to protect it from anyone and any entity who obstructs our mandate to conduct business in a proper, legal and socially-responsible manner.

“BUA will, therefore, utilise its legal and human resources to resist every campaign of defamation and distraction,” the statement further said.

The leading cement manufacturing company said its independent investigation showed Mr. Onyejekwe was behind the false story that went viral online.

We have, therefore, instructed our legal team to immediately commence criminal defamation proceedings against the person of Mr James Onyejekwe who is the said originator of the malicious letter fraudulently attributed to Cavendish Petroleum against our person, with damages,” the statement seen by Investors King noted.

BUA explained that “We deem these actions necessary, in order to protect the name and reputation of BUA Group.”

“We see no reason why Mr James Onyejekwe of Kainos Exploration and Processing would single out BUA in a supposed business dispute which had no link to the BUA Group in its entirety.

“Therefore, BUA finds it absurd that Mr Onyejekwe or anyone else will decide to drag BUA into their issues and/or put out such a malicious and defamatory statement, fraudulently using the name of Cavendish/Mr Mai Deribe without recourse to the truth, facts, decorum or decency,” it added.

BUA Group described the story bordering on allegations of corruption as “false, malicious and spurious.”

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Dangote Cement Emerges Best Performing Firm In Africa

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The Kogi State Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (KOCCIMA) has named the Dangote Cement Plc, Obajana Plant, as the best performing company in Africa.

The award was presented to the company in Lokoja at the weekend by the Deputy Governor of Kogi State, Chief Edward Onoja, who represented the State Governor, Alhaji Yahyah Adoza Bello, at the Annual General Meeting(AGM) of KOCCIMA.

Speaking at the occasion, the President of KOCCIMA, Mr. Victor Ibrahim, said the Dangote Cement emerged through a thorough screening process that involved 20 companies.

He said: “Our screening committee considered many criteria before Dangote Cement Plc was selected”.

According to him, the Chamber put into consideration Dangote Cement’s contributions to the state’s economy through Internally Generated Revenue(IGR), as well as its good relationship with KOCCIMA.

Mr. Ibrahim said another criterion that placed the Dangote Cement in good stead is that the company has been environmentally friendly.

“We’ve visited DCP Obajana Plant and we found it complying with global best practices when it comes to the environment. Your parking lot does not constitute any environmental danger. We also considered returns to investors, the welfare of staff, the 43km Obajana-Kabba concrete road, your good relationship with the host community and your positive image”.

He announced that the Chamber of Commerce was planning to host its Trade Fair by year-end and looking forward to collaborating with the Dangote Cement Plc.

The Deputy Governor Mr. Edward Onoja expressed the appreciation of the Kogi State Government, saying the contributions of KOCCIMA and the private sector were crucial to the development of the state.

Speaking to newsmen on the sideline of the event, representative of the Dangote Cement Plc Mr. Ademola Adeyemi said the company was elated and that the award will further spur it to continue its support to the state’s economy, KOCCIMA and Corporate Social Responsibility schemes.

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Appointments

MTN Appoints Chika Ekeji as Executive Lead for Strategy and Transformation

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MTN Appoints Chika Ekeji, A Nigerian-American as Executive Lead for Strategy and Transformation

MTN Group has announced the appointment of Chika Ekeji, a Nigerian-American national as an executive to lead the strategy and transformation unit of the mobile network operator.

Chika has a Master of Engineering in Computer Science from Cornell University and an MBA from MIT.

He will be leaving from McKinsey & Company, where he led the West Africa Digital Practice and served telco, financial services, and public sector clients across Africa.

His appointment with Africa’s leading mobile operator will be effective on, 15th of March. In his new role, he will be based in SA.

“We are very pleased that Chika is joining us as we work to accelerate our strategic repositioning,” says MTN Group chief operating officer Jens Schulte-Bockum.

To support the execution of the repositioned strategy, Ekeji joins a group of other recent appointees, including the new group chief financial officer, Tsholofelo Molefe.

In recent weeks, MTN also made changes to the group’s regional structure and the executive committee.

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