Oando Plc has dragged Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to the Court of Appeal to challenge the technical suspension the commission imposed on its shares on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange.
Oando is also challenging the decision of SEC to audit its business activities by forensic experts hired by the commission.
The development is coming on the heels of the November ruling of the Federal High Court in Lagos, which sacked Oando’s suit challenging the suspension and audit.
The court presided over by Justice Rilwan Aikawa had before dismissing the suit in November, granted an interim injunction restraining SEC from carrying out the audit.
However, ruling on the matter on November 23, 2017, the judge struck out Oando’s suit on the basis that the court has no jurisdiction to entertain the case. He had advised that the right place to air out the issue was the Investment and Securities Tribunal (IST).
Consequently, counsel to Oando, Mr. Seyi Sowemimo (SAN), has approached the Court of Appeal praying it to reverse Justice Aikawa’s ruling.
In his appeal before the appellant court, Sowemimo contended that the Federal High Court and not the IST was the appropriate forum to hear the case.
According to Sowemimo, the Federal High Court 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.”
He argued that by virtue of Section 251(i) (e) of the constitution, the Federal High Court is empowered to entertain CAMA-related cases.
On this argument, he prayed Appeal Court 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.”
When the matter came up before Justice Aikawa on Monday, Sowemimo informed him about the appeal and urged the judge to make an order “preserving the res to prevent the appeal from being rendered nugatory.”
Sowemimo’s prayer was opposed by counsel for SEC and the Nigerian Stock Exchange, which was joined as the second defendant, Chief Anthony Idigbe (SAN).
Idigbe contended that the arguments of Oando in its appeal “are not substantial in law.”
After hearing from both parties, Justice Aikawa adjourned further proceedings in the matter until Wednesday, December 13.
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