UPDATE 1-Nigeria's Oando down 10 pct on Ibori allegations

Tue Sep 17, 2013 11:47am EDT
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(Adds Oando denial in statement, details, background)

LAGOS, Sept 17 (Reuters) - Shares in Oando Energy fell the maximum allowed 10 percent on Nigeria's local bourse on Tuesday, after a UK prosecutor said jailed ex-governor James Ibori had hidden assets in the energy company, traders said.

Oando's shares closed at 10.35 naira per share. In Toronto, they were down 23 percent to 1.13 Canadian dollars per share by 1455 GMT.

A British prosecutor told a court on Monday that Ibori used Oando to hide some of his assets, but the oil and gas company denied the allegations.

A three-week confiscation hearing began at London's Southwark Crown Court on Monday during which prosecutors will present evidence of Ibori's assets and seek court orders to have them seized.

One Lagos-based dealer said uncertainty around the court case had spooked Oando investors.

"It was a panic reaction to the news on the Ibori connection. Investors want to prevent losses in the event that assets of the company are seized," one dealer said.

Prosecutor Sasha Wass told the London hearing that Ibori "asserted ownership of a large part" of Oando, Nigeria's largest listed home-grown oil firm which also has listings in Johannesburg and Toronto.

In a statement on Tuesday, Oando's head of investor relations Tokunboh Akindele called the allegations "incorrect and misleading," arguing that if Ibori had bought its publicly traded shares, that was not the firm's responsibility.   Continued...