A group of shareholder of Oando Plc have expressed concerns over what they called “the alarming rising number” of court cases which, they said, may cost the company N608 billion as judgment claims.
In a statement on Sunday, Nnodi Okeke, the coordinator of one of the company’s shareholder groups, Truth and Transparency Initiative, expressed anxiety over the trend and warned that if not checked, the claims on judgment may outweigh the company’s asset base, thereby causing its liquidation.
“Cost of litigation is very high. Litigation has damaging consequences on the company’s reputational risk under the current management.”
The coordinator also listed other shareholders’ grievances against Oando Plc to include the company’s alleged accumulation of over N159 billion losses in its balance sheet as at 2016 year end and current liabilities and long-term liabilities, which, he claimed, stood at over N799 billion.
“The management was selling assets of the company, especially money-spinning assets such as downstream (marketing) business, without meaningful improvement in debt situation. The management was planning to sell its share in OER,” he disclosed.
According to him, the recent peace deal that was brokered between management of the company and one of the shareholding groups of Oando Plc by the Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II, bordering on the protests of shareholders was not in any way intended to discourage shareholders from insisting on SEC forensic audit on Oando Plc.
“Let us state emphatically, and for the avoidance of doubt, that the said peace deal has nothing to do with agitations and protests of legitimate shareholders of Oando Plc and the general public at large over the mountainous infractions and illegalities against which the management of Oando Plc stands charged.
“For one, Oando Plc is a public liability company and what happens to the company and how regulatory authorities respond thereto goes a long way to the manner investors, especially foreign ones, will view their participation in doing business in Nigeria.
“We have been in this business of Oando Plc as well as several other shareholders on our call that justice be done in respect of the malfeasance committed by the management of Oando Plc, and that the right thing be done so that investor’s confidence be restored and also that other shareholders of the company get justice.
“Therefore, the said peace deal has not affected the issue on ground,” Okeke insisted.
He said, “SEC, on its own, after investigations, pointed out some infractions in the company and came to the conclusion that a forensic audit was necessary in the company.”