A sub-committee on Capital Market and Institutions of the House of Representatives has ordered the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to take over Capital Oil Plc. over fraud allegation on shareholders’ funds amounting to over N2 billion.
The Chairman of the committee, Tony Nwulu, gave the directive at the ongoing public hearing on the compliance of companies with operational and regulatory requirements at the National Assembly in Abuja on Thursday.
Nwulu said investigation into the matter revealed how successive management teams of Capital Oil allegedly mismanaged shareholders’ funds, adding that the committee also found out that the company was in tax deficit of over N70 million.
To proceed in the investigation, the lawmakers ordered all past chief executives and management of the company to appear before the House to give account on what led to the collapse of the company after N2 billion was collected form the investors.
“Wherever we see incompetence, we will expose them and ensure that SEC takes them over and where forensic audit needs to be done, we will make sure that it is carried out.
“We are mandating SEC to take over the management of Capital Oil. We will invite SEC to come and tell us what they know about what has become of Capital Oil.
“We will be inviting all the past management of Capital Oil Plc to come and explain how come a company that Nigerians invested their hard-earned money in can just go this way without explanations,” Nwulu said.
The chairman assured that the House will leave no stone unturned to ensure perpetrators of the act were brought to book.
“We are not going to back down, no matter how highly-placed they are. It is disheartening that a Plc can go down without any explanation being made to Nigerians.
“Anybody who played a part in this has explanation to make to Nigerians. It is pathetic to look at Nigerians in the face and tell them that their hard-earned money is gone.
“All those who are guilty will make account. That is what we are telling Nigerians. We assure them that justice must be served.”
Among the former top officials of the company expected to appear before the lawmakers are former managing directors, Tunji Sobodu and Ayo Fanimokun; Executive Director of Finance, Enoor Osubele; and Mr Jerome Ikhine.
Meanwhile, shareholders under the aegis of Progressive Shareholders Association of Nigeria (PSAN) have kicked against the directive by the lawmakers, describing it as a misplacement of directive.
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