Some shareholders of Oando Plc have decried the suspension of the company’s Annual General Meeting by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The Secretary General, Association for Investors’ Liberation, Mr Hamza Ridhwan, spoke on behalf of the minority shareholders at a press briefing on Wednesday.
SEC announced on Monday morning in a statement that it had suspended Oando’s AGM, which was slated for Tuesday, June 11, 2019.
Ridhwan said, “We condemn in absolute terms the way and manner chosen by SEC in announcing the cancellation on the eve of the event, despite having ample time to do same.
“We have shareholders who have come in from all over the country, and it’s disappointing and disheartening to think that SEC didn’t think it worthy to consider us, the esteemed shareholders, when determining when to notify the general public on the suspension of the AGM.”
He added, “What kind of regulator disregards the shareholders it is supposed to protect like this? We ask why the AGM was suspended. Why was it done at such short time? We challenge the SEC to tell us how this last-minute suspension of the AGM is in our best interest.
“We find the current action of SEC even more alarming, especially after Oando made N180bn in losses and has reversed this to two consecutive years of profit. Profits that fill us with hope that dividends will be paid soon.”
He said the six-month suspension in the trading of Oando shares and the two-year investigation into the company had eroded value and minority shareholders’ investments.
Ridhwan added, “We fully support the regulator and applaud the government for institutions such as SEC as we know the imperative role they play in regulating and protecting the capital market. However, in the case of Oando, we are not convinced that SEC has acted in our best interest or protected our investments. We call on the government to intervene.”