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Oando: Regulator barred from removing directors

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The Federal High Court in Lagos yesterday restrained the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) from removing Mr. Wale Tinubu as the Group Chief Executive Officer of Oando Plc.

It also barred SEC from imposing a fine on Tinubu and carrying out its restriction on him and his deputy, Mr. Omamofe Boyo, from being directors of public companies for five years.

Ruling on an ex-parte application filed by Tinubu and Boyo through their lawyers Mr Tayo Oyetibo (SAN), Yele Delano (SAN) and Motunrayo Akinyemi, Justice Mojisola Olatoregun ordered parties to maintain status quo.

SEC had on Friday announced the conclusion of an investigation of Oando and ordered Tinubu and other affected board members to resign.

The apex capital market regulator also said it barred Tinubu and Boyo from being directors of public companies for a period of five years.

It went further to say on Sunday that it had set up an interim management team headed by Mr Mutiu Sunmonu to oversee the company’s affairs and to conduct an Extraordinary General Meeting on or before July 1 to appoint new directors to the board, who would subsequently select a management team.

Tinubu and Boyo have filed a suit to challenge the SEC decision.

In their ex-parte application, they sought, among others, an order of interim injunction:

  • restraining SEC, its servants, agents, employees and/or privies from taking any step concerning or acting on its decision contained in its letter of 31st May 2019 imposing a fine of N91, 125,000 on the first applicant and barring the first and second applicants from being directors of public companies for five years pending the hearing and determination of the applicants’ motion for interlocutory injunction.
  • restraining the second respondent (Sunmonu) from acting as the head of the interim management of Oando Plc pending the hearing and determination of the motion for interlocutory injunction; and
  • an order staying or suspending the enforcement of SEC’s decision imposing fine on Tinubu and Boyo and barring them from being directors of public companies for five years.

Tinubu and Boyo also prayed the court for an interim injunction restraining SEC or its agents from requesting any agency of government to act upon the decision contained in the May 31 letter pending the hearing and determination of their motion on notice.

The application was supported by an affidavit deposed to by Boyo.

After hearing the applicants’ counsel, Justice Olatoregun ruled that:

  • an interim order of injunction is granted within the prayers sought;
  • parties should maintain the status quo ante pending the determination of the motion on notice;
  • this order is to be served on the respondents along with the motion on notice as well as other processes; and that
  • an undertaking is to be filed indemnifying the respondents in case it later turns out that these orders ought not to have been made;

The case was adjourned till June 1


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