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Action Against Oando, Aimed At Protecting Investors – SEC

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The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), yesterday said that Oando Plc was given sufficient opportunity of being heard before they were penalised.
The commission said in Lagos that there were various opportunities by the company to defend themselves during the investigation by SEC and during the forensic audit.
“The attention of SEC has been drawn to various reports questioning the regulatory authority of the SEC, and insinuating lack of due process in the investigations of Oando Plc.
“To put the records straight, SEC hereby states that fair hearing is a paramount and fundamental principle which the commission as a law abiding agency adheres to in all its investigative processes.
“In the course of the investigations, communications e.g. letters and phone calls were exchanged and meetings held between the commission and Oando Plc, requesting for its comments and explanations on issues relating to the investigations.
“The findings of the commission was communicated to the Group Chief Executive Officer (GCEO) of Oando Plc by a letter dated July 10, 2017,” SEC said in statement by Mrs Efe Ebelo, its head, Corporate Communications and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)
The commission said it subsequently engaged Deloitte & Touche to conduct a forensic audit of the activities of Oando Plc.
“In the course of conducting the forensic audit, Deloitte & Touche held regular sessions with members of the board and senior management of Oando Plc, and afforded them the opportunity to provide explanations on issues relating to the audit.
“The commission confirms that Oando Plc was given sufficient opportunity of being heard and accorded several opportunities to rebut the issues revealed by the investigation.
“The responses given by Oando Plc were, however, considered unsatisfactory; prompting, the decision by the commission to penalise the company and some of the individuals related to it for violations of securities laws.
“The actions of the commission were properly effected pursuant to the provisions of the Investments & Securities Act (ISA) 2007 and the SEC Rules and Regulations made pursuant to the ISA 2007,” SEC said.
It added that these facts had been properly articulated in the court process it filed at the Federal High Court in response to the suit instituted by the Group Chief Executive Officer and Deputy Group Chief Executive Officer of Oando Plc.
“As the apex regulator of the Nigerian capital market, the commission has a mandate to protect investors,” it said.
SEC noted that its recent action on Oando Plc aligned with the above cardinal mandate.
It said that the directive for the removal of persons from the board of Oando Plc and the appointment of an interim management team to temporarily steer the affairs of the company was to protect investors and preserve stakeholder value.
SEC said that failure or refusal of the commission to act in the face of the serious issues thrown up by the investigations or to reverse its directive would undermine the federal government’s agenda to build strong institutions.
Reports say that SEC on June 2, following the outcome of its forensic audit constituted an interim management team to be headed by Sunmonu for embattled Oando Plc.
It noted that Sunmonu would oversee the affairs the company and conduct an Extra Ordinary General Meeting (EGM) on or before July 1, to appoint new board of directors.
The regulatory body also said that appointed new board of directors at the meeting would subsequently select a management team for Oando Plc.
The commission, however, reiterated its commitment to maintaining the integrity of the market.

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Western Marine Command Intensifies Anti-Smuggling Operations … Intercepts N8.75m Worth PMS

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For officers and men of the Western Marine Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), the battle is not over until smuggling is over.
In the wake of Wednesday May, 8, 2024, the ever vigilant officers, acting on a tip-off, intercepted 177 sacks and 61 kegs of 25 litres containing petroleum products, valued at about N8.750,000million.
The items were intercepted along Isalu Creek, Badagry Waterway en-route Benin Republic.
While briefing newsmen, the Command’s Customs Area Controller, Comptroller Paul Bamisaiye, said: “This seizure is most economically significant to the Command at this period of scarcity of Petroleum Products, especially Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) in our cities, and shows the anticipatory posture in our response to economic saboteurs.
“At about 2:330hrs on Wednesday 8th May 2024, while on joint patrol by teams in the Command, credible intelligence was received of the movement of 2 boats laden with what was suspected to be petroleum products concealed in sacks. Upon receipt of the information, the team moved into Isalu creeks, Badagry waterway.
“On sighting the approach of the Officers, the smugglers took to their heels through the shore of the Creek. The loaded boats were then towed to the station at Badagry where preliminary examination was conducted and transferred to Western Marine Command Headquarters, Ibafon, Apapa, Lagos.
“Careful examination at the Command Headquarters revealed that the arrest was found to contain One Hundred and Seventy Seven (177) Sacks and Sixty One (61) Kegs of 25 Litres Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) containing Twelve Thousand Five Hundred (12,500) Liters with a total Duty Paid Value standing at Eight Million Seven Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira (N8,750,000) only”.
Bamisaiye noted that the action of the smugglers is a contravention of Section 245 & 254 of the Nigeria Customs Service Act 2023 which the service, through Western Marine Command, is responsible for enforcing.
“The Command, under the leadership of Compt. PK Bamisaiye, is poised more than ever to rid the waterways of all acts of smuggling and economy sabotage for the benefit of the growth of economy of Nigeria”, he said
Bamisaiye said so far, no suspect was arrested in the Command’s anti-smuggling operations.

Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

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Illegal PMS Trading Booms In Lagos

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Petroleum products  being sought by motorists have disappeared from virtually all filling stations within Lagos and its environs, but are now booming in business in retail outlets.
Investigations by our correspondent revealed that while the product could not be got at some of the petrol service stations, activities are in top gear in the local retail outlets where the price has gone beyond the reach of users.
It was also gathered that in some filling stations supplied with the products, preference are often given to retail outlet operators by petrol attendants against the consuming public.
A source, directly involved in the business, said some petrol dealers are cashing on the irregular supply to divert the products to retail outlets where they could easily make their gains.
It was also gathered that some sales representatives in the service of major oil marketing firms indulged in the diversion exercise because of their personal interest.
At the retail outlets a liter goes for N950,00 against the normal N760,to N800 at some stations.

Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

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Customs Board Appoints Five DCGs, Eight ACGs

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The Nigeria Customs Service Board (NCSB) has confirmed the appointment of five Deputy Comptroller-Generals (DCGs) and eight Assistant Comptrollers-General (ACGs) of Customs during its 59th regular meeting.
The meeting, chaired by the Honorable Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Mr. Wale Edun, was held at the Nigeria Customs Service Headquarters in Abuja last Tuesday.
National Public Relations Officer of the Service, Chief Superintendent of Customs, Abdullahi Maiwada, who disclosed this in a statement yesterday, gave details of the confirmed appointments as: O.O. Peters (DCG /Commander, Training and Doctrine Command (rtd); B.M. Jibo (DCG Enforcement Inspection & Investigation); and B.U. Nwanfor (DCG Excise, Free Trade Zone & Industrial Incentives).
Others are: S.A. Bomia (DCG, Commander Training and Doctrine Command); and C.K. Niagwan (DCG, Tariff & Trade).
The Assistant Comptrollers General (ACGs) are: B. Imam (ACG Board); A.A.S. Oloyede (ACG, Trade & Tariff); S.K. Dangaldima (ACG/Zonal Coordinator, Zone ‘B’); A. Abdul Azeez (ACG/Zonal Coordinator, Zone ‘D’); S.A. Yusuf (ACG, Human Resource Development); N.P. Umoh (ACG, Training and Doctrine Command); C.O. Obih (ACG/Zonal Coordinator, Zone ‘C’); and S. Chiroma (ACG, Strategic Research and Policy).
The new appointments, according to the statement, were made to fill the vacancies created by some senior officers who recently retired from the Service, noting that the principles of federal character, seniority and merit guided the appointments approved by the board.
“These appointments are a testament to the officers’ exemplary services and dedication to the Nigeria Customs Service. The NCSB remains committed to providing strategic leadership to ensure effective and efficient service delivery for optimum performance”, he said.
While thanking the retired members of the management for their meritorious services, the Comptroller General of Customs, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi, congratulated the newly confirmed officers and charged them to redouble their efforts to ensure the service attains greater heights in its mandates of revenue generation, suppression of smuggling, and trade facilitation amongst others.

Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

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