Picture: REUTERS/AKINTUNDE AKINLEYE
Picture: REUTERS/AKINTUNDE AKINLEYE

A Nigerian regulator has barred top executives of oil and gas company Oando from holding directorships at public companies after "serious infractions" at the company were found.

An investigation into the Nigeria- and SA-listed company uncovered false disclosures, "market abuses", misstatements in financial results, internal control failures, and corporate governance lapses, Nigeria’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said on Friday.

The regulator said it had also found evidence of "irregular approval of directors’ remuneration", unjustified disbursements to directors, and related-party transactions not conducted at arm’s length.

The SEC said "affected board members" must resign and shareholders must appoint replacements at a meeting by July 1.

It also directed the payment of penalties by the company and those implicated, along with refunds of "improperly disbursed remuneration".

Further, CEO Adewale Tinubu and his deputy, Omamofe Boyo, were barred from being directors of public companies for five years.

"Oando is of the view that these alleged infractions and penalties are unsubstantiated, ultra vires, invalid and calculated to prejudice the business of the company," the group said in a statement on Monday.

It said it had not been given the opportunity to see or respond to the forensic audit report.

"The company reserves its rights to take all legal steps to protect its business and assets whilst remaining committed to act in the best interests of all its shareholders," it said.

hedleyn@businesslive.co.za