Despite the protests that took place outside the venue of the 47th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of Oando Plc, the company has insisted that Wale Tinubu remains its Group Chief Executive (GCE).
The clarification became necessary as angry shareholders had stormed the venue, attempting to disrupt the proceedings, following earlier petitions to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), alleging lapses in its corporate governance.
Apparently foreseeing the crisis, Oando had moved the AGM to Calabar, Cross River State, but the move did not deter the shareholders, suspected to be “hired crowd” who were determined to have a leadership change.
As a result, proceedings at the meeting were delayed for about 15 minutes, even as shareholders inside the hall supported the motion on the agenda moved by the board.
But, in a statement, Oando explained that the protest took place outside the venue by non-shareholders as all shareholders were allowed access to the venue to raise their legitimate concerns to management and the board.
According to the statement, the protest lost steam after 10 minutes, following interventions from key representatives of the shareholders associations, who addressed the protesters asking that they raise their concerns the legitimate way by writing to the company.
Oando explained that the shareholder representatives further requested a quick resolution to the issues with the petitioners to enable Oando’ management focus on building the brand.
One of the shareholders, “Mrs. BisiBakare advised that shareholders resolve their disputes with the company in private to avoid unnecessary sensationalism which would in turn result in loss of money for the company and shareholders.
“As a reputable company, our approach is not to respond to every allegation in the media; allegations need to be delivered to the company in a particular format before we can respond. The petitioners requested a postponement of our AGM, but we provided the SEC with all the information required and we were cleared to hold the AGM.”
On the issuance of dividend, Tinubu said: “We reacted to the 2014 fall in oil price by providing a detailed restructuring plan which saw us reduce our overall debt by over 40 per cent. Following the completion of our strategic deleveraging initiatives, we have evolved into a leaner, but more focused organisation with two core dollar earning entities.”
However, the leader of the protesters, Clement Ebitimi, said: “We are shareholders and stakeholders of Oando Plc. We have read several newspaper reports on allegations of gross mismanagement by the present management of Oando Plc.
“For the past three months, there have been reports of huge financial mismanagement, very high debt and cooked books by Oando.“As it stands, Oando is in a very bad shape, although the company’s report points to the contrary. Despite these official denials, shareholders have lost a fortune with the shares of the company plummeting to the bottom.”
Source: The Guardian