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N4.8bn capital market fraud:  SEC vows to protect investors’ investment

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By Kayode Tokede

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has vowed to protect investors’ investment in the capital market as confined by the Investments and Securities Act (ISA) 2007.

The apex capital market regulatory body in response to alleged N4.8 billion defrauded by a licensed member of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), said it has established a robust framework for investigating complaints received from investors.

About 300 investors affected by the alleged N4.8billion capital market fraud case levelled against the erstwhile Managing Director of Partnership Investment Company Limited, Mr. Victor Ogiemwonyi, had vowed to protest next month against NSE and SEC.

SEC in a statement said, “As the apex regulatory authority of the Nigerian capital market, the Commission would do everything within the confines of the Investments and Securities Act (ISA) 2007 and the Rules and Regulations made pursuant to the Act, to ensure the protection of investors and their investments in the market.

“The Commission has established a robust framework for investigating complaints received from investors. The Commission also has an excellent enforcement mechanism and continues to maintain zero tolerance to any form of infraction in the market. Furthermore, the Commission adopts a risk-based monitoring and supervision of operators and institutions in the market to forestall potential systemic collapses.

“The Commission imposes stiff sanctions on erring operators to serve as a deterrent within the limits permitted by law, while infractions with elements of criminality are referred to the Law enforcement agencies for prosecution as provided under Section 304 of the ISA 2007.

“In furtherance of this, the Commission has developed a thriving partnership with the Nigeria Police  and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to prosecute these matters.

Trading Platforms and other Self-regulatory Organizations in the Nigerian capital market have viable Rules/risk management strategies and have also adopted corporate governance standards that conform to global best practice.

“The Commission continues to collaborate with these platforms to ensure the eradication of all forms of market manipulations.

“In line with its commitment to implement the Nigerian Capital Market Master Plan (CMMP 2015-2025), the Commission has in recent times launched several notable initiatives which would galvanize the market, safeguard investors’ portfolio and contribute to the overall transformation of the economy.

“These include the E-dividend, Direct Cash Settlement, Full Dematerialization, Recapitalization exercise, Corporate Governance Scorecard and the establishment of the National Investors’ Protection Fund, the statement on SEC website stated.

The commission noted that investigation is still ongoing on the activities of Partnership Investment Company Limited (PICL) and Partnership Securities Limited (PSL) in the Capital Market.

“The matter is also currently before the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The Commission assures all investors and stakeholders of its commitment to ensuring the continued development and stability of the capital market, while no stone is being left unturned to recover for investors monies illegally converted by market operators,” it added.

Ogiemwonyi had been arraigned in court by the EFCC for the alleged multi-billion naira fraud and was remanded in the Ikoyi Prisons pending trial

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