Directors’ sack: Oando challenges SEC on court ruling
An official of Oando Plc yesterday said the company has appealed a court ruling of a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, which Thursday, struck out three cases filed by it and some of its directors against the Commission for lack of jurisdiction.
The firm and its affected directors noted that in as much as they respect the decision of the court, in their opinion, the court failed to address their concern and that the battle was far from over. The company said it has therefore lodged an appeal with the courts in Abuja, to vacate yesterday’s ruling and to refer the case to the Investment and Securities Tribunal (IST). The company and its affected directors had argued that the powers conferred by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on its citizens to enforce their fundamental rights supersedes the provisions of the Investment and Securities Act 2007.
They have also filed an application for stay of execution as well as an injunction pending appeal on the SEC’s May 31, 2019 letter to the Company, and as such the status quo that existed before yesterday’s ruling remains unchanged. According to Oando this means that nearly two years on SEC’s hands are tied and they are still unable to implement sanctions on the company or its directors.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) had secured the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, Thursday, strike out three cases filed by Oando Plc and some of its directors against the Commission for lack of jurisdiction. The Court dismissed the cases in a judgement delivered by Hon. Justice F.O.G. Ogunbanjo.
Oando Plc and three of its directors, namely Adewale Tinubu, Omamofe Boyo and Olufemi Adeyemo, had instituted these cases against the SEC in view of the enforcement action taken against the Company and the affected directors in its letter dated May 31 2019. The affected directors, according to the SEC letter, dated May 31, 2019, had violated the Commission’s Code of Corporate Governance, the provisions of the Investments and Securities Act 2007 and the SEC Rules and Regulations.
Oando Plc and the three directors had prayed the court to hold that their fundamental human rights were violated because, according to them, the SEC did not give them fair hearing in investigating some petitions received by the SEC in 2017 from some Oando shareholders.
But the Court, in delivering its judgement, struck out the three cases and ruled that the Federal High Court could not assume jurisdiction to entertain a matter where the subject matter falls outside its jurisdiction under the guise of enforcing fundamental human rights.
The court further held that the Federal High Court lacks jurisdiction to entertain matters arising from the Nigerian Capital Market.