Court adjourns hearing in Oando suit to October
The hearing on the date to file the Scheme of Arrangement document of energy company Oando Plc has been postponed once more by the Federal High Court in Lagos.
Oando stated in a corporate notice sent to the Nigerian Exchange Limited on Monday that Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke sitting at the Federal High Court in Ikoyi, Lagos Division had further adjourned the matter to October 10, 2023. The notice was sent to the Nigerian Exchange Limited.
Oando stated that the postponement was necessary so that it could report to the court on its compliance with the order that was issued by the court on June 7, 2022, as well as provide an update on the status of the Scheme of Arrangement.
On March 25, 2021, 14 shareholders of Venus Construction Company Limited filed a lawsuit titled “FHC/L/CP/494/2021-Venus Construction Company Limited & 13 others Vs. Ocean and Oil Development Partners & Oando PLC” with the court under the case number “FHC/L/CP/494/2021.”
The lawsuit was initiated by Venus Construction Company Limited, both on its own behalf and on behalf of other minority shareholders of Oando. It was brought forward in accordance with sections 353, 354, and 355 of the Companies and Allied Matters Act of 2020.
The first two companies to respond are Ocean and Oil Development Partners Limited and our own company.
The energy company had announced in March that it intended to delist from the NGX, at the same time that its primary investor, Ocean and Oil Development Partners Limited, made a proposal to acquire the company’s minority shareholders’ shares at a price of N7.07 per unit.
After the fact, a number of shareholders voiced their opposition to the action.
Sunny Nwosu, who is the Chairman Emeritus of the Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria, has been critical of the company, saying things like, “In the last 10 years, shareholders of Oando have not received any dividend from them.” You are selling the assets that have made NNPCL a super regulator and a super marketer; because they are the ones distributing the fuel that is being imported with taxpayers’ money; and now, they are also a super retailer. This is because they are the ones who are distributing the fuel that is being imported with taxpayers’ money. This is not acceptable behaviour in terms of corporate governance; in fact, it constitutes cheating. We have witnessed a significant amount of disrespect for shareholders, particularly for individuals who believe they are making sound investments by participating in the capital market.
Additionally commenting on the matter, Kehinde Olowolafe, the Coordinator of the Sage Shareholders Association in Ibadan, stated that even though it was within Oando’s right to exit the market, it was essential for regulators to ensure that minority shareholders were not cheated.