Shareholders flay delays in dispensing capital market cases

Piqued by the level of delay in dispensing capital market related cases, shareholders have urged the Nigerian judicial system to ensure that it handles capital market issues with priority in order to enhance market development.

The shareholders, while fielding questions from journalists on how to develop the Nigerian Capital Market, also stressed the need for the judiciary to avoid granting unnecessary orders in favor of operators to shield them from punishment after committing infractions in the market.

Specifically, the President, Proactive Shareholders Association of Nigeria, Oderinde Taiwo argued that the judiciary should give speedy hearing to capital market related cases.

Oderinde added that there was need for collaboration between the judiciary and Investment and Securities Tribunal (IST) in resolving capital market cases.

“The regular courts should also cooperate with special courts such as the Investment and Securities Tribunal(IST) in resolving capital market cases. A situation whereby IST (which is equivalent to a high court) gives an order and another high court gives a counter order is not good for the market,” Taiwo said.

The National Chairman, Progressive Shareholders Association of Nigeria (PSAN), Boniface Okezie, said judges should base their judgments on merits of the cases involved, instead of indiscriminately issuing orders.

“Apart from fast-tracking the judgement delivery process, judges should listen to arguments of both parties and deliver their judgements based on merits.

“Also, when any offender is brought before any court, the court should be able to look at the case dispassionately and ask the defendant to go and face the music rather than delay the case unnecessarily or issue orders preventing the defendant from prosecution,” he said

Also speaking, a member of Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria (ISAN), Moses Igbrude argued that investors easily got frustrated and discouraged due to the delay in handling cases in Nigeria.

“We are now calling on the judiciary that in order to restore investor confidence and as part of their continued contribution to the growth of the market, capital market related cases should be dispensed with speed,” he said.

Igbrude, who is also the Chairman of “Consumer Rights Awareness Advancement and Advocacy Initiative ((CRAAAI), added,” the judiciary should discourage the issuance of orders to capital market operators, who, after violating rules, will then run to the courts for cover.

“This has been happening and I believe given the high expectations for change in the entire country, the courts should no longer grant orders to those who have deliberately committed offences and when they are asked to face the music, they run to the court for protection that they do not deserve,” he said.

Meanwhile, BGL, which was recently suspended by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) over allegations of holding on to clients’ money worth over N6 billion, decided to obtain a Federal High Court order in Lagos to compel SEC to reverse its decision.

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