Nigeria’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) plans to go ahead with a forensic audit of oil company Oando Plc, it said in a statement late on Tuesday, despite the suspension of the commission’s director.
The finance minister suspended SEC Director General Mounir Gwarzo last week over allegations of financial impropriety, a month after Gwarzo started an investigation into Oando’s shareholding structure and froze trading in its shares.
Lawmakers on Tuesday opened an investigation into Gwarzo’s suspension, pledging to look into whether the ministry had interfered with the SEC’s work, particularly issues related to the forensic audit of Oando.
The SEC said it had sent a letter to Oando on Tuesday, informing the company of its decision to conduct the audit, which it has appointed accounting firm Deloitte to handle.
The ministry has appointed Abdul Zubair as acting chief of the commission while Gwarzo is under investigation.
Gwarzo was not immediately available for comment on Wednesday on the decision to go ahead with the audit.
Shares in Oando, which had been frozen at 5.99 naira since October 18, sold off in heavy trading of 10.1 million units, a day after Gwarzo was suspended.
Oando, which bought ConocoPhillips’ Nigerian business for $1.65 billion in 2014, had gone to court to challenge the suspension of its shares by the SEC.