Nigeria’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is probing Oando, an oil company owned and run by Wale Tinubu, a cousin of former Governor Bola Tinubu of Lagos State. Mr. Bola Tinubu, the national of the All Progressives Party (APC), is also in business partnership with Mr. Wale Tinubu.
A petition by two of Oando’s shareholders triggered SEC’s investigation of the oil firm, SaharaReporters learned. The two petitioners are Dahiru Mangal and Italian businessman, Gabriel Volpi.
Both petitioners have filed at least four lawsuits against Oando following a wrecked business move in which the firm acquired oil infrastructures from CONOCO Phillips in Nigeria. The questionable deal cost Oando $1.5 billion. Mr. Volpi reportedly gave Oando’s Wale Tinubu the sum of $900 million to effect the deal. In addition, Mr. Mangal reportedly contributed $250 million while former Vice President Atiku Abubakar contributed $50 million to the purchase which proved a disastrous investment for Oando. The petitioners are alleging mismanagement and ownership fraud on the part of the company’s operators.
A source at SEC said the commission’s investigators had so far found evidence that Oando had “been cooking its books for the past six years, creating the impression that it was making a profit when in fact the company was swimming in debts and overburdened by mismanagement.”
Mr. Wale Tinubu is believed to be neck deep in Oando’s financial and investment crisis. Our SEC source stated that Mr. Tinubu’s stake in the company fell to a minuscule one percent after he secured funds from Mr. Volpi, former VP Atiku, and Mr. Mangal. Our source added that former Governor Tinubu apparently counted on using his political influence with the Muhammadu Buhari administration to re-inject life into Oando, “but that hasn’t happened.”
President Buhari frequently used Mr. Wale Tinubu’s private jet during the 2015 electoral campaign. In addition, the businessman was reportedly liberal with cash donations to the campaign, according to a political source who spoke to our correspondent.
Oando was once listed on stock exchanges in Toronto and Johannesburg, but Canadian authorities in 2015 halted any trading in Oando’s stock.
SaharaReporters contacted Mounir H. Gwarzo, the Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission, to confirm the scope of the commission’s investigations into Oando, but he responded that the agency would not disclose the details of any ongoing investigation.