By Thomas Okeke
The Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Wednesday stated its position on the controversy surrounding the technical suspension of the shares of Oando Plc.
In a statement made available to Frontline News Online , the commission repeated its directive to the Nigerian Stoke Exchange (NSE), that the suspension on Oando’s shares be lifted.
SEC further explained that the shares of Oando Plc were placed on technical suspension in October 2017, following the announcement of a forensic audit, aimed at protecting investors.
The management of the commission maintained that the suspension of the company’s shares was a short term measure.
The statement read in part: “Suspensions are typically intended for a short period to ensure market stability and thereafter lifted to allow market dictates.
“However, the suspension of the shares of Oando plc was prolonged due to several litigations by Oando and other shareholders contesting the propriety of the forensic audit and technical suspension.
“All litigations have now been withdrawn, the independent forensic audit by Deloitte is ongoing and the primary result is expected.
“Accordingly, the Security and Exchange Commission directed the NSE to lift the technical suspension and allow market determination of the share price.
“The Commission acted in the interest of shareholders and would continue to protect the interest of all the investors and other shareholders in the capital market.
“SEC will update relevant stakeholders on the outcome of the forensic audit”.
Recall that Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) on Wednesday lifted the suspension placed on Oando shares with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), but ordered a reversal three hours later.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that confusion trailed the action of the exchange and SEC with market operators and shareholders calling on the federal government to intervene in the matter.
NAN reports that the exchange, in a letter entitled: “Notification of Lifting of Technical Suspension on the Shares of Oando,’’ said SEC on April 9, directed it to lift the suspension.
“We refer to our bulletins of 18, 20 and 23 October, 2017 regarding the directive of the SEC to the Nigerian Stock Exchange to place the shares of Oando Plc on Technical Suspension.
“Please be informed that on April 9, 2018, the commission directed the Exchange to lift the technical suspension placed on the shares of Oando.
“On receipt of the commission’s directive, the Exchange put the process in place to lift the technical suspension, including testing on its trading system.
“Further to the commission’s directive of April 9, please be advised that effective today, April 11, 2018, the Exchange lifted the technical suspension placed on the shares of Oando.
“Consequently, there is no longer any impediment to price movement in Oando shares.
“The above is for your information and records update please,” said the Exchange.
But three hours after lifting the technical suspension on Oando’s shares, the suspension was reversed by the NSE.
Recall also that a group of concerned shareholders of Oando on Tuesday called on the Federal Government to prevail on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) and the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) to lift the technical suspension placed on the shares of Oando.