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Overstatement saga: SEC invites Cadburys board, management

Category: People

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Overstatement saga: SEC invites Cadburys board, management

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) at the weekend summoned the board and management of Cadbury Nigeria Plc before the Commission\'s Administrative Proceedings Committee (APC).


APC is the Commission\'s court, floated for the resolution of conflicts involving securities and disputes between capital market operators.


SEC said in a circular made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the sitting of the APC, scheduled to hold in Abuja between May 21 and 22, was a fallout of the preliminary investigations into the alleged understatement in Cadbury Nigeria accounts from 2002 to 2005.


The Commission, which declined to give details of its preliminary investigations, said that it had become necessary to invite major actors in the company\'s operations to explain their role individually and collectively.


Among those slated to appear before the APC are the Chairman, Mr Uduimo Itsueli, the former Managing Director, Mr. Bunmi Oni and Executive Director of Finance, Ayo Akadiri.


Others are all the executive and non-executive directors and three executive management staff namely Mr. Olusegun Aina, Mr. Akinbode Gbolahan and Mr. Tunde Egbeyemi.


SEC also ordered three shareholders in the company\'s audit committee, Thomas Ayorinde, Z.C. Enunwa and S.J. Balogun to appear before the panel.


Cadbury\'s former auditors, Akintola Williams Deloitte and Union Registrars Limited were also invited to explain their roles in the understatement saga.


The board of Cadbury Nigeria on December 1, 2006 removed Oni and Akadiri from office following the alleged doctoring of its 2005 and 2006 financial statements.


The confectionery giant in a statement said it stood to lose about N2 billion from its 2006 financial year, following the doctoring of the company\'s financial statements.


Consequently, Oni and Akadiri were relieved of their jobs.


The investigation, which was carried out by PriceWaterhouseCoopers, indicted both officers for financial misconduct and they were subsequently sacked.


\"On account of this, Cadbury Nigeria Plc will report an underlying operating loss for 2006 of between N1 billion and N2 billion. We also expect to make one-time exceptional charges in 2006 of between N13 billion and N15 billion in respect of the profit and balance sheet overstatements, which will considerably diminish company reserve,\" the company said. - Guardian

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