SEC: Buhari’s minister under fire for reassigning portfolios

Three shareholders' groups have called for the immediate removal of
Kemi Adeosun as Minister of Finance, for her unwholesome interference
on the affairs of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Adeosun had on Friday approved the reassignment of portfolios in the
Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) with Ms. Mary Uduk assuming
the position of the Acting Director-General of the Commission.

The group described the minister's decision to reassign portfolios in
SEC as "unnecessarily meddling" with the functions of the commission,
which has caused severe damage to the capital market.

Specifically, the National President of Trusted Shareholders
Association of Nigeria (TSAN), Alhaji Mukhtar Ismail Mukhtar; the
National Coordinator, Proactive Shareholders Association (PROSAN),
Taiwo Oderinde; and the Coordinator, Oando Shareholders Solidarity
Group (OSSG), in a joint statement on Sunday, said Adeosun had
inevitably caused untold harm both to the independence of SEC and the
nation's capital market in her desperate attempt to shield Oando from
probe.

The statement reads: "We wish to bring the attention of His Excellency
President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and all
Nigerians to the unwholesome, unpatriotic and strange actions of the
Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun with regards to the probe of
Oando Plc."

"You may recall that since early last year, Oando has been enmeshed in
series of crises bordering on abuse of corporate governance and
alleged gross financial mismanagement.

"The internal auditors of Oando Plc, Messrs Ernst & Young, in the
company's financial report last year expressed doubts over its ability
to continue as a going concern because its liabilities exceeded its
assets.

"As concerned shareholders, we sent petitions to the Securities and
Exchange Commission (SEC) and to the House of Representatives
Committee on Capital Market.

"The committee mandated SEC to investigate these allegations,
culminating in the setting up of a committee by SEC to carry out a
preliminary investigation of the company's affairs.

"SEC's preliminarily investigation, as disclosed by the commission in
a letter dated October 17, 2017 signed by its Head of Legal unit,
Braimoh Anastasia, unearthed several malpractices in the company.

"These 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
(ISA) 2007, among several other infractions.

"These weighty findings compelled the suspension of Oando shares on
the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange and the Johannesburg Stock
Exchangeto pave way for a more thorough investigation."
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