Court adjourns hearing in Oando suit to October

The Federal High Court, Lagos, has adjourned again hearing on the date to file the Scheme of Arrangement document of energy company, Oando Plc.

In a corporate notice to the Nigerian Exchange Limited on Monday, Oando said that Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke sitting at the Federal High Court, Ikoyi, Lagos Division had further adjourned the matter to October 10, 2023.

Oando said the adjournment was to enable it to report on its compliance with the court’s order dated June 7, 2022, and update the court on the status of the Scheme of Arrangement.

The suit no: FHC/L/CP/494/2021-Venus Construction Company Limited & 13 others Vs. Ocean and Oil Development Partners & Oando PLC, was filed in the court on March 25, 2021, by 14 shareholders of the company.

The case was filed by Venus Construction Company Limited, acting by itself and on behalf of other minority shareholders of Oando, and was brought pursuant to sections 353, 354 and 355 of the Companies and Allied Matters Act 2020.

Ocean and Oil Development Partners Limited and the company are the first and second respondents.

The energy company had revealed its plans to delist from the NGX in March as the company’s core investor, Ocean and Oil Development Partners Limited, proposed to acquire the shares of its minority shareholders at the rate of N7.07 per unit.

Some shareholders later kicked against the move.

The Chairman Emeritus of the Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria, Sunny Nwosu, had slammed the company, saying, “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 not part of corporate governance, this is cheating! We have seen a lot of disrespect for shareholders, especially for people who think they are doing good investments by going to the capital market.”

Also commenting, the Coordinator of the Sage Shareholders Association, Ibadan, Kehinde Olowolafe, said while it was within Oando’s right to exit the market, it was important that regulators ensure minority shareholders were not cheated.

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