Oando Vs SEC: Energy firm files appeal against court judgment
By Samuel Bankole
The energy company, Oando Plc on Friday said it has appealed the decision of the Federal High Court, Abuja, which declined jurisdiction to hear the Fundamental Rights suit filed by its principal officers and the company against the capital market regulator.
In a regulatory filing with the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), the energy company said it has also filed applications for stay of execution as well as an injunction pending appeal in respect of the judgment of the Federal High Court, Abuja.
Justice Giwa-Ogunbanjo of the Federal High Court in Abuja had on Thursday declined jurisdiction and struck out the case filed against the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) by Oando’s chief executive Wale Tinubu, his deputy Omamofe Boyo and the company’s Chief Financial Officer, Olufemi Adeyemo.
The three principals of the energy company had filed the suit against SEC following the regulator’s decision to suspend Tinubu, Boyo and Adeyemo as the principals of the firm following investigations in the operations of Oando which indicted them.
In his judgment, the court based its judgment on Section 36 (2) of the Constitution which allows aggrieved individuals to first approach any tribunal or administrative agency to determine civil rights and obligations as long as that process and the resulting decision is not final.
The court also reiterated that the Investment and Securities Tribunal (IST) has primary jurisdiction over applicants-Oando and its principals in respect of capital market issues and not the Federal High Court.
“The Company is of the opinion that the judgment is misconceived and as such has appealed the decision on the grounds that the powers conferred by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on its citizens to enforce their fundamental rights supersede the provisions of the Investment and Securities Act 2007.
“Furthermore, the Company and its Principals have filed applications for stay of execution as well as an injunction pending appeal in respect of the judgment of the Federal High
Court, Abuja in relation to SEC’s May 31, 2019 letter to the Company (refer to footnote)
The company said It is important to note that there are still related suits pending before various courts against the SEC over its directive of May 2019.
“SEC is restrained from acting on its findings and carrying out any of the sanctions specified in its May 31, 2019 letter.
“As such the status quo that existed before yesterday’s ruling remains unchanged and Oando PLC’s current management
team remains in place,” Oando stated in the filing.