The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) yesterday urged Federal High Court in Lagos to dismiss a motion filed by an oil firm, Oando Plc.
Oando is seeking preservative orders in a suit it filed to challenge the technical suspension imposed on its shares to allow for a forensic auditing of its books.
It wants the court to grant the injunction pending the outcome of its appeal challenging the suit?s transfer to the Investment and Securities Tribunal (IST).
Justice Rilwan Aikawa, on November 23, struck out Oando?s suit, holding he lacked jurisdiction to entertain it.
The judge said the appropriate forum to for the oil firm to ventilate its grievances was at the IST.
Dissatisfied, Oando, through its lawyer Seyi Sowemimo (SAN), appealed.
The oil firm also filed a motion before the lower court seeking an injunction to preserve the ?res? (subject-matter) pending the final determination of its appeal.
Yesterday, SEC?s lawyer Chief Anthony Idigbe (SAN), arguing a counter-affidavit filed in opposition to Oando?s motion, noted that a motion for injunction calls for the exercise of the court?s jurisdiction.
To him, since the court had already delivered a declarative judgment in the matter, there was nothing to be stayed.
?The court is functus officio (without jurisdiction) after delivering judgment in the matter and we are entitled to the fruits of the judgment, which is basically the preservation of the interests of Oando?s shareholders.
?Oando should go to the IST to seek the injunction it is seeking for. They have not told the court why they cannot go to the IST. Granting any injunction will be at the risk of the investing public?s interests.
?They have equally not told the court what they will suffer if the forensic audit is done. We urge the court not to grant this request,? Idigbe said.
NSE?s lawyer Chief Bolaji Ayorinde (SAN) also asked the court to dismiss the Oando?s motion and to affirm its earlier ruling by declining jurisdiction.
But, Sowemimo urged the court to grant the motion, saying it was predicated on his client?s constitutionally guaranteed rights of appeal.
According to him, the res Oando was asking the judge to preserve was the integrity of the appeal and not the fruits of the contentious ruling delivered by the court as claimed by the respondents.
?If the res is not preserved, the appeal will be overreached and rendered nugatory,? he said.