A shareholder of Oando Plc, Engr. Patrick Ajudua, has won a case challenging the directive of the Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC suspending Oando’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) on the ground of breach of his right to freedom of association as guaranteed under Section 40 of the Nigerian Constitution and Articles 9, 10 & 11 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights.
The shareholder took it upon himself to legally challenge the commission in a suit filed at the High Court of the FCT.
Engr Patrick has been hailed a savior of Oando Plc following his big win in court yesterday.
In a hearing presided by Honorable Justice O. A Musa, all cases filed were granted in his favor. Engr. Patrick who has painfully endured the SEC’s infringement of his rights as a shareholder and an individual, for the past two years, was the much needed respite that the shareholders required especially at a time when many are grappling for survival following the country’s second recession in three years.
Recall that in 2019, the SEC suspended the AGM of Oando indefinitely. AGM’s are an important platform for the protection of the shareholders of a company, furthermore they are a legal requirement for all publicly listed companies the world over.
According to Patrick Ajudua, the SEC has denied him this right over the last two years. Since the suspension of Oando’s 2019 AGM shareholders have been kept in the dark on the company’s affairs – specifically corporate initiatives and financials.
Presiding over the case, Honorable Justice O. A Musa, made the following declarations; Ordered that Engr. Patrick as a member and shareholder of Oando has a right and freedom of association and assembly with other shareholders and right to receive information at the AGM; declared the May 31, 2019 letter of SEC to Oando sanctioning its management, as unconstitutional, null and void and violation of Engr. Patrick’s fundamental right to fair hearing and his human right to receive information on the affairs of Oando and his interest and shares in Oando; an order setting aside the directive of SEC suspending/postponing indefinitely the AGM of Oando in violation, breach and contravention of Engr. Patrick’s right and freedom of association and assembly with other shareholders and right to information from other shareholders and Oando Plc; an order restraining SEC and Oando from interfering with, disrupting and or interfering with the Engr. Patrick’s constitutional right of association, assembly and right to receive information from other shareholders and members of Oando PLC at the postponed 2019 AGM; an order of injunction restraining SEC from acting and /or taking any steps pursuant to its letter of 31st May 2019 or interfering in any manner whatsoever with Directors lawfully appointed by the Engr. Patrick and Shareholder; an order directing Oando to convene and hold AGM of Oando plc within 90 days of the order of the court in compliance with the provisions of Companies Allied Matters Act.
Speaking on his win, Engr. Ajidua said: “A win for me is a win for all shareholders. The lingering delay in resolution of the conflict have brought untold hardship, financial difficulty and loss of capital appreciation on our investment. Therefore, the shareholders received this judgement with high sense of humility and praying that all hands must be on deck to move the company forward. We plead with the regulators and others to give peace a chance and allow for harmonious resolution of the conflict.
”The shareholder community will continue to protect their investment, ensure high compliance with code of corporate governance & ensure integrity of company operating in the capital market.”