SEC: We Are Committed to Conducting Forensic Probe into Oando

Suspended Nigerian Securities and Exchange Commission boss Mr. Mounir Gwarzo

Suspended Nigerian Securities and Exchange Commission boss Mr. Mounir Gwarzo

In a unanimous vote, the House directed that status quo be maintained until the outcome of the investigation to be carried out by the House of Representatives Committee on Capital Market & Institutions within two weeks.

While the Finance ministry had claimed that Gwarzo was suspended for financial impropriety, but there had been claims that he was actually suspended for his refusal to call off the forensic audit of the oil marketing firm.

The lawmaker said "there were allegations of interference by Ministry of Finance in the discharge of responsibilities by SEC, particularly the Oando Forensic Audit matter, which was largely responsible for the DG's suspension".

The clarification is coming on the heels of media reports that the rifts that triggered the suspension of the Director-General (DG) of SEC, Mr Mounir Gwarzo, by the Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, last week was linked to the forensic audit of Oando Plc, which SEC commenced two months ago.

Fears that the suspension of Munir Gwarzo, Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), would derail the probe of Oando's alleged grievous infractions, have been eased as the commission has written a fresh letter to the oil firm notifying it of upcoming forensic audit.

He noted that the intervention by the House will put the matter into proper perspective and contribute to amicable resolution of the conflict in order to protect the image of the Securities and Exchanges Commission in the interest of both local and foreign investors. "Nothing less than a total inquiry into what happened in SEC is what is required and not only why the DG was suspended".

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Consequently, the Commission announced the appointment of a consortium of experts, consisting auditors, lawyers, stockbrokers and registrars, to conduct the forensic audit, while shares of Oando Plc at the Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE were placed on temporary technical suspension.

Meanwhile, the SEC, yesterday, stated that it will go ahead with the conduct of a forensic exercise on Oando Plc despite the suspension of Gwarzo.

Speaking on the matter today, Chairman, Senate Committee on Capital Market, Mr Mustapha Bukar, said the forensic audit of Oando must go on.

Although SEC did not disclose full content of the letter, it assured "the general public of its zero tolerance to infractions in the Nigerian capital market".

Recall that the Federal Government, Sunday, appointed Dr. Abdul Zubair, the acting Director General of the Commission with immediate effect.

"The Commission will also without let or hindrance, continue to be faithful to its developmental mandates as enunciated in the Investments and Securities Act".

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