Post Views: 1,160 With a January 30, 2017 life ban from all capital market activities imposed by the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC), the ...
With a January 30, 2017 life ban from all capital market activities imposed by the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC), the board of the Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc (Transcorp), on Friday informed the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) of the resignation of Chibundu Edozie, its director and Deputy Managing Director of BGL Plc.
The SEC’s Administrative Proceedings Committee (APC) in the matter of APC/1/2015: Rivers State Ministry of Finance & 31 Others V. BGL Plc & 31 Others, had imposed a life ban on Edozie and Albert E. Okumagba, managing director of the investment banking group from all capital market activities, including occupying board seats in any public company in the country.
The Transcorp statement, signed by Emmanuel Nnorom, its President and Chief Executive, simply said Edozie resigned with effects from September 29, 2016, having “served in non-executive capacity on the board of Transcorp for five years.”
SEC had in its January 30 statement announcing the ban approved by Finance Minister, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, in the absence of a board for the commission, said the parties had appeared before the committee in November, following which Okumagba, and Edozie were each found guilty of breaching “Rule 1(iii) of the Code of Conduct for Capital Market Operators and Their Employees as contained in the SEC Rules and Regulations.”
The monetary loss of such breach of rules, the SEC management said, “resulted to a loss of about N5,769,993,553.67 for 32 innocent investors,” hence the need to ensure justice to investors while granting all parties fair hearing.
Edozie and Okumagba were each also fined N100,000, bringing total fines imposed on BGL’s officials to N29.1m, including N5m on BGL Plc, N23.2m on BGL Assets Management Ltd, while the registration of BGL Securities Limited was cancelled, besides being fined N10.1m for breaching Rule 22(4) of the SEC Rules and Regulation, Section 60(1) and Section 38(5) of the Investment & Securities Act, 2007; as well as Rules 34(1) (e) of the SEC Rules and Regulations.
According to the statement, the commission said it “received 32 complaints between 2012 and 2015 against the 1st to 4th respondents over certain conducts in relation to operations of their Guaranteed Consolidated Notes (GCN) and Guaranteed Premium Notes (GPN). Investigations revealed that the 1st to the 4th respondents had through the 5th to 32nd breached some provisions of the Investment and Securities Act (ISA) 2007 as well as the SEC Rules and Regulations.”
The Commission said it invited all parties before the APC which sat on December 8, 2016 to hear the matter, receiving testimonies and documentary evidence that were tendered by various parties,” based on which it reached a final decision that was subsequently approved by the relevant authority.
While the 12th to 17th 20th to 22nd and 24th respondents were seemingly left off the hook, the 18th defendant was handed a two-year ban from engaging in capital market activities, just like the 19th and 23rd respondent for breach of Rule 1(iii). The 25th respondent was banned from market activities for five years for breaching the said code of conduct, while the 26st respondent got a four-year ban; the 27th and 29th respondents got away with two-year ban each; while the 30th and 32nd respondents were banned for 12 months apiece.
According to a notice for the hearing slated for the commission’s Abuja head office last December, BGL, its subsidiaries and officials were required to respond to allegations of violating SEC rule that requires that they separate clients funds from those of the company. They are also allegedly performed capital market function without registration; non-compliance with code of corporate governance of the commission; carrying on business with negative shareholders funds; and promoting/marketing products not registered with the commission.
BGL Plc was to appear along with its subsidiaries: BGL Capital Ltd; BGL Assets Management Ltd; and BGL Securities Ltd, jointly accused of non-compliance with SEC’s rules on assets mix ratio; unauthorised sale of shares; failure/refusal to resolve clients complaints; and other violations of the Investments and Securities Act, 2007 and SEC rules and regulations.
Besides the Rivers Ministry and other individuals, the complainants also include: Modotels Nigeria Ltd; the Church of Nigeria Anglican Communion; and UN Staff Thrift & Credit Cooperative Society; Nigerian Shippers’ Council; Superannuation Fund of the Niger Anglican Churches; G&B Marine Services; Abbey Mortgage Bank Plc; Kano State Investment & Properties Ltd (KSIP); Rosehill Limited & Alhaji Yahyah Suleiman; and Himma Merchants Limited.