Some shareholders of Oando Plc have called on President Muhammadu Buhari to sack Kemi Adeosun, Minister of Finance, for apparently shielding the company from probe, thereby systematically destroying the country’s capital stock market.
This was contained in a joint statement issued by leaders of the Trusted Shareholders Association of Nigeria (TSAN), Proactive Shareholders Association (PROSAN) and the Oando Shareholders Solidarity Group (OSSG), in reaction to the removal of Abdul Zubair, as Acting Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Zubair had been appointed by Adeosun as replacement for Munir Gwarzo, who was alleged to have engaged in financial impropriety but continues to insist his sack was due to his refusal to cooperate with Adeosun in suspending the probe against Oando.
Adeosun said Zubair had been replaced with Mary Uduk to ensure effective regulation of the capital market
But the shareholders described the removal of Zubair as a “show of shame”, adding that it betrayed Adeosun’s desperation to shield Wale Tinubu, owner of Oando Plc, from facing probe and possible prosecution.
“Zubair was sacked because he initially resisted Adeosun’s attempt to forcefully remove the technical suspension placed on the shares of Oando to preserve investors’ funds,” the shareholders stated.
“Unfortunately, she had her way and the lifting of the suspension is part of a grand plan to sweep the weighty allegations against Oando under the carpet.
“This is clearly a negation of the anti-corruption stance of the present administration and a systematic destruction of the Nigerian capital market.
“The show of shame exhibited last week where the Nigerian Stock Exchange was made to implement three different directives with regards to the suspension of Oando shares within 24 hours should worry the Federal Government and well-meaning Nigerians.
“It sent very bad and negative signals to investors all over the world. The attendant negative impact of Adeosun’s meddlesomeness to protect some entrenched interests will haunt the market for a long time to come.”
The shareholders advised Buhari to sack Adeosun as Finance Minister, saying it “is the only way to show [that] the federal government remains committed to the fight against corruption in all sectors of the economy”.
When contacted, Oluyinka Akintunde, Adeosun’s spokesman, described the allegations against his principal as “clannish sentiments and pedestrian issues that do not have any bearing with the matter at hand to tarnish her image”.
“The allegations are absolutely not true. The Minister has not interfered in the operations of any agency under the Ministry of finance, including SEC,” Akintunde said.
Shortly after Gwarzo was removed for alleged “multiple financial improprieties“, a memo leaked to the media exposed his refusal to play along with Adeosun when she asked him to drop the probe against Oando.
But Adeosun denied that he ever asked Gwarzo to step down the Oando probe, claiming she suspended him because he threatened to blackmail her.