A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, has granted the Group Chief Executive Officer of Oando Plc, Mr. Wale Tinubu and his deputy, Mr. Omamofe Boyo, leave to file a motion for a judicial review of the sanctions the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) imposed on them.
Tinubu and Boyo, through their counsel, had approached the court for an order to review their ban from being directors of public companies for five years and the additional imposition of N91,125,000 on Tinubu.
Justice Ayokunle Faji granted the order of certiorari following an application filed by Tinubu and Boyo seeking a review of the decision of SEC.
An order of certiorari is a writ or order by which a higher court reviews a case tried in a lower court or administrative agency.
SEC had announced on May 31 the conclusion of an investigation of Oando and ordered Tinubu and other affected board members to resign.
It barred Tinubu and Boyo from being directors of public companies for five years.
The regulatory agency subsequently set up an interim management team headed by Mr. Mutiu Sunmonu to oversee Oando’s affairs and to conduct an Extraordinary General Meeting on or before July 1, to appoint new directors to the board, who would subsequently select a management team.
In a separate ex-parte application filed through their counsel, Olasupo Shasore (SAN), Tinubu and Boyo prayed for an order of certiorari to quash SEC’s purported imposition of N91,125,000 fine on Tinubu.
They sought an order of certiorari to quash SEC’s purported decision to bar them from being appointed as directors of public companies for five years.
They further prayed for an order of certiorari to quash SEC’s purported appointment of an interim management team to be headed by Sunmonu (the second respondent) to oversee Oando’s affairs.
Justice Faji on Tuesday, granted the application as prayed.
A copy of the order was obtained Wednesday.
He granted an “order of certiorari bringing up to the Federal High Court for the purpose of being quashed, the decision of the first respondent contained in its letter of 31st May 2019 at Page 6 Paragraph 5 thereof which purported to bar the applicants from being directors of public companies for a period of five years.”
He also granted an order prohibiting SEC, whether by itself or agents, from enforcing or seeking to enforce its purported decisions contained in the May 31 letter.
He also ordered the restraining of SEC from implementing its purported decisions contained in a statement it issued on June 2 and from interfering with, taking over or usurping the management of Oando’s affairs either by itself, agents or through the purported interim management team.
The court restrained Sunmonu from purporting or continuing to act as head of the interim management team in place of the applicants.
Justice Faji made “a declaration that the first respondent (SEC) acted ultra vires and without jurisdiction in making its decision as contained in its letter of 31st May, 2019 which conveyed the imposition of a fine of N91,125,000 on the first applicant and purported to bar the first and second applicants from being directors of public companies for a period of five years…and appointing an interim management team to be headed by the second respondent.”
“The motion or summons for judicial review shall be filed and served within seven days,” the judge ruled
Justice Faji adjourned until June 21 for hearing.
Tinubu and Boyo have notified SEC of the latest order.
In a June 11 letter to SEC signed by Shasore and Oyinkansola Badejo-Okusanya, both partners at ALP Legal, the applicants said: “By this ruling, our clients have now been granted leave to apply by way of judicial review for an order of certiorari for the purpose of quashing the decision of SEC referred to above.
“The order of court referred to above operates as a stay and precludes you from carrying out any and all of the actions contained in your letter and press release of 31 May and 2 June 2019 respectively.
“The order of court also precludes you from carrying out any actions whatsoever arising out of SEC’s purported investigation into Oando Plc and its purported findings.
“Please note further, that any action taken contrary to this order of court will amount to your being held in contempt of court.”
The latest order brings to two the number of orders so far received by Tinubu and Boyo.
On June 3, Justice Mojisola Olatoregun had granted the duo’s application for “an order of interim injunction restraining SEC” from acting on its decisions on the oil corporation.