JOHANNESBURG — We tend to forget in South Africa that corruption and financial mismanagement is a global phenomenon. Case in point is the Oando scandal, which cuts borders but is rooted in Nigeria. What we should all be thankful for these days is the greater information flows regarding these scandals. Nothing better than sunlight to put the focus on individuals and businesses. – Gareth van Zyl
By Emele Onu
(Bloomberg) – A London court ordered two companies owned by Wale Tinubu, the chief executive officer of Nigerian energy company Oando Plc, and his deputy, Mofe Boyo, to pay $680 million to Ansbury Investment Inc. following a dispute over shareholding and financial management.
The London Court of International Arbitration ruled that Ocean and Oil Development Partners, a company incorporated in the British Virgin Islands, which owns 55.96 percent of Oando through a holding company, is indebted to Ansbury to the tune of $600 million, Ansbury spokesman Bolaji Akinola said.
Whitmore Asset Management Limited, also owned by Tinubu and Boyo, owed Ansbury $80 million, Akinola said in a statement emailed Monday.
The dispute, which arose in 2017, is related to the investment in 2012 by Ansbury of $700 million to acquire a 61.9 percent stake in Ocean and Oil Development Partners, a special-purpose vehicle in which Whitmore held the remaining 38.1 percent, according to the statement.
Ansbury, owned by the family of Nigerian-Italian businessman Gabriele Volpi, petitioned Nigeria’s Securities and Exchange Commission in 2017 over allegations of financial mismanagement, indebtedness and falsification of financial statements, Akinola said. The SEC in October ordered a probe into Oando and suspended the stock after a review of the company found possible insider dealings and discrepancies in its shareholding structure.
While the Abuja-based SEC lifted the trading ban on Oando in April, it continued with the investigation into the company.
Oando shares slumped 9.4 percent to 5.80 naira at the close in Lagos Monday, the biggest drop in a year.
Tinubu didn’t respond to an email seeking comment. Oando itself isn’t in any way indebted to Ansbury Investments and wasn’t party to the arbitration, the company said in a statement.