Oando Nigeria

Oando Plc has headed for the Court of Appeal in its bid to lift the technical suspension imposed on its shares on the floor of the Nigerian stock market by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The oil company had earlier approached the Federal High Court in Lagos to challenge SEC’s suspension of its shares and an audit of its business activities by forensic experts hired by SEC.

Though Justice Rilwan Aikawa of the lower court earlier granted an interim injunction restraining SEC from carrying out the audit, the same judge, in a ruling on November 23, 2017, struck out Oando’s suit, saying he had no jurisdiction to entertain it.

The judge said the appropriate forum to ventilate the issue was the Investment and Securities Tribunal.

But displeased with the decision, Oando, through its lawyer, Mr. Seyi Sowemimo (SAN), went before the Court of Appeal seeking the reversal of Justice Aikawa’s ruling.

Sowemimo insisted that the Federal High Court rather than the IST was the appropriate forum to hear the case.

He said the judge erred in law to decline jurisdiction because “the suit touched and concerned the operation of a company incorporated under the Companies and Allied Matters Act.”

According to him, by virtue of Section 251(i)(e) of the Constitution, the Federal High Court is empowered to entertain CAMA-related cases.

He is, therefore, urging the Court of Appeal to make an order “reversing the (Justice Aikawa’s) order striking out the suit and restoring the matter to the cause list of the Federal High Court for accelerated hearing.”

At the Monday’s proceedings before Justice Aikawa, Sowemimo informed the judge about the appeal and urged the judge to make an order “preserving the res to prevent the appeal from being rendered nugatory.”

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