SEC Investigates Allegations in AP


By Goddy Egene and James Emejo in Abuja, 08.26.2010


The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has launched a formal investigation into the allegations of financial mismanagement leveled against  the Chairman of   African Petroleum (AP) Plc, Mr. Femi Otedola by the suspended Executive Director, Finance & Information Technology, Mr. Clement Aviomoh. Otedola had also sent a petition against Aviomoh to the Commission.Aviomoh had petitioned the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), the Director-General of Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the President of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), alleging that  AP has lost  about N15 billion to the sharp practices of  Otedola.


He said the AP chairman has been milking AP for his private gains for the past two years.But  AP management said that allegations by Aviomoh were  triggered by the petition, which Otedola  wrote to SEC on June 21, 2010, detailing how about N24.5 billion  which was due to be paid to the company by two shareholders still remains outstanding till date.However, the Spokesman for SEC, Mr. Lanre Oloyi said the Commission has received both allegations and the apex regulator had launched investigation into the allegations.


Oloyi said in a statement that some persons claiming to be shareholders and staff of the AP staged a peaceful demonstration in front of the Commission’s head office in Abuja   yesterday morning.
“The shareholders and staff were protesting in support of the petition written by the company’s former ED, Finance & IT, Aviomoh against his chairman, Otedola. The Commission is in receipt of Aviomoh’s allegations against Otedola. The Commission is also in receipt of the allegations by Otedola with respect to the AP share offer. The Commission has launched a formal investigation into these allegations,” he said. 


During protest, the  workers carried  placards  with various inscriptions.The leader of the protest, Mr. Jegede Haruna said : “We are protesting on behalf of the AP. It is enough for him (Otedola). He has  been eating for the past two years and this should be stopped.” Oloyi who addressed the protesters  told them that Commission was already looking into their concern as contained in an earlier  petition to SEC.


He said  SEC Director-General, Ms Arumah Oteh, who is away on an official assignment, had on receipt of the petition, constituted an investigation committee to examine every issue raised.He said  as a responsible regulatory agency; the Commission would not spare any resources to ensure that at the end of the investigation whoever is culpable would be given appropriate sanction, adding that the Commission was on top of the situation to ensure that investors and shareholders’ interests were protected.






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