IN a bid to obtain to justice for complainants and grant all parties fair hearing, the Nigerian Stock Exchange has banned Mr Albert Okumagba, BGL Managing Director and his deputy, Mr. Chibundu Edozie, from participating in capital market activities for 20 years.
In a report pasted on SEC’s website entitled “SEC Administrative Proceedings Committee (APC) gives its decision on BGL Securities Ltd and 22 others”. The commission also ordered Okumugba’s companies to refund to investors over two billion naira. The ban followed complaints by investors against Okumagba and his company over failure, refusal and or/neglect to liquidate their investments in both the Guaranteed Consolidated dated notes and Guaranteed Premium Notes, among others.
The circular pointed out that the commission, in a bid to parties’ fair hearing, presented the matter before its APC which sat on Feb. 6. “During the proceedings testimonies and documentary evidence were tendered by various parties and upon conclusion of the proceedings its APC arrived at a decision which has been approved by the relevant authority,” it stated.
The APC decided that by their actions and/or omissions BGL Securities Ltd, BGL Asset Management Ltd., Okumagba, Edozie and 22nd respondents engaged in acts capable of adversely affecting investors’ confidence in the capital market. It added that the APC decided that the registration of BGL Securities and BGL Assets Management be cancelled, while Okumagba and Edozien be banned from capital market operations for a period of 20 years.
It stated further that the two companies would also pay a fine of N25 million for breaching Rule 1(iii) of the Code of Conduct for capital market operators. “Other than Okumagba and Edozie, Peter Adebola and Ashley Osuzoka have also been banned for five years and four years respectively,” it added.
The APC, apart from the ban placed on them and some monetary fines, directed the companies to refund N24.03 million to the National Open University Staff Cooperative Multipurpose Society. It also directed the companies to pay Delta State Ministry of Finance N1.88 billion; Azort Nigeria N204.83 million; Prof Ojuah Umunnakwe the sum of N10.97 million; N3.04 million to Orsule Awase and N10.74 million to Mahmoud Usman.
It would be recalled that SEC had earlier suspended Okumagba and BGL from operating in the market a year ago and had been investigating the complaints. Okumagba was also removed as the President of Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers (CIS).