Armed policemen invade Oando, disrupt business operations

Posted by News Express | 7 June 2019 | 1,051 times

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Armed security personnel, acting on the directive of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Thursday allegedly invaded Oando’s head office in Lagos and disrupted the firm’s business operations.

The security personnel became residents in Oando’s Ozumba Mbadiwe office since June 3, and are said to be present at the reception, of all the office floors as well as the stairways, intimidating employees from doing their business for fear of accidental discharge.

An employee of one of the corporate tenants at the Wings Office Complex head office said he was shocked when he got to the office to see so many armed personnel on the ground floor.

A letter from the Lagos Commissioner of Police clearly explained that policemen were deployed to Oando on the directive of SEC Director-General to maintain law and order.

A legal practioner, Nkechi Agbanusi, said: “The SEC’s actions is  what you can describe as dictatorial democracy, on the surface they are the regulator with the best interest of the market at heart, but in truth they are destroying value.”

Prof Pat Utomi said the greatest risk of doing business is not a market risk but regulatory risk and the general attitude of the government to business.

He said: “The problem with institutional growth in Nigeria was the way Africans relate to being in authority positions. To give a uniform of authority to most in Africa was to make them bullies instantly. Just watch the policeman, soldier, LATSMA personnel etc. deal with the public.”

This is the exact case with the SEC, which as a result of being in a position of power, is going against the laws of the country.

This SEC and Oando saga is not playing out well, the regulator seems focused on one goal and achieving this goal by any means necessary including using innocent parties such as the police as well as taking steps that are heavy handed, unreasonably forceful and intimidating in nature.  In the process they are calling to question, the role of the regulator and in a manner that will have far reaching implications in the long term.

“It just seemed odd when I saw all these policemen but I didn’t take much notice – the building has quite a number of tenants so I didn’t think too much about it.  Later in the day, everybody in the office was talking about how they had taken over the Oando offices and then I became worried.  Having no idea what the issue is with Oando, I was worried about the outcome of a full blown altercation with armed personnel.  You know one has to be careful when dealing with someone with a gun,” he said.

The presence of the armed men on the directive of SEC has intimidated the company’s employees and disrupted normal business activities. The disruption to normal business will not only adversely affect the company but the country at large as its shares has seen a downward spiral since the SEC directive.

A letter from the Lagos Commissioner of Police clearly stated that policemen were deployed to Oando on the directive of SEC Director-General to maintain law and order.

The question is to date has Oando acted in any way that indicates that it is in the habit of contravening law and order? If no, then what was the rationale for SEC taking steps that can only be perceived as unnecessary intimidation, an analyst said.

A a legal practioner, Nkechi Agbanusi, said: “The SEC’s actions is  what you can describe as dictatorial democracy, on the surface they are the regulator with the best interest of the market at heart, but in truth they are destroying value.”

Prof Pat Utomi said the greatest risk of doing business is not a market risk but regulatory risk and the general attitude of the government to business. He said: “The problem with institutional growth in Nigeria was the way Africans relate to being in authority positions. To give a uniform of authority to most in Africa was to make them bullies instantly. Just watch the policeman, soldier, LATSMA personnel etc. deal with the public.”

This is the exact case with the SEC, which as a result of being in a position of power, is going against the laws of the country.

This SEC and Oando saga is not playing out well, the regulator seems focused on one goal and achieving this goal by any means necessary including using innocent parties such as the police as well as taking steps that are heavy handed, unreasonably forceful and intimidating in nature.  In the process they are calling to question, the role of the regulator and in a manner that will have far reaching implications in the long term. (The Nation)

 

 


Source: News Express

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