Shareholders of Oando Plc have demanded the sack of Kemi Adeosun, minister of finance, for allegedly interfering with the stock market.
In a statement which Trusted Shareholders Association of Nigeria (TSAN) issued in conjunction with the Proactive Shareholders Association (PSA), the stakeholders accused the minister of shielding Oando from being probed by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
They insisted Adeosun was stalling the forensic audit of the company, an action they said was detrimental to Oando shareholders as well as the entire Nigerian capital market.
“SEC’s preliminary investigation, as disclosed by the commission in a letter dated October 17, 2017 and signed by its head of legal unit, Braimoh Anastasia, unearthed several malpractices in the company,” Taiwo Oderinde, national coordinator of the Proactive Shareholders Association (PSA), said in a statement.
“These (infractions) 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 2007.”
He said shares on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) and the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) were suspended to allow for a more thorough investigation via a forensic audit ordered by SEC.
“It must concern Mr President, Mr Vice-President and all Nigerians that Adeosun has now removed two SEC DGs from their positions all in a desperate attempt to shield Wale Tinubu and the present management of Oando from probe. These men have been sacked from their positions because they refused to stop the probe of Oando.
“Zubair was sacked because he initially resisted Adeosun’s attempt to forcefully remove the suspension placed on the shares of Oando to preserve investors’ funds. Unfortunately, she had her way and the lifting of the suspension is part of a grand plan to sweep the weighty allegations against Oando under the carpet.”
Oluyinka Akintunde, spokesman of the minister, was not available for comment as calls to his phone rang out and no response to the text message sent.
There have been complaints about the developments in the stock market.
Last week, NSE lifted the technical suspension on Oando shares but suspended it after three hours of trading.
This left investors and shareholders confused but the suspension was lifted the next day while the agency blamed it on SEC.
On Friday, Adeosun replaced Abdul Zubair, acting director-general of SEC, with Mary Uduk.