FRIDAY, 30 JULY 2010 01:19
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) yesterday accused Afribank and its senior executives of manipulating the bank’s December 2007 public offer in an elaborate scheme that was deliberately designed to buy back its shares deceive the market.
In doing this, SEC said Afribank contravened the Investment and Securities Act 2007. It also alleged that Afribank also perpetrated a fraud in connection with the purchases and sales of Afribank shares. A statement issued by the SEC last night said : “Afribank made a Public Offer (“Public Offer”) that closed in December 2007. After the Public Offer, Union Bank advanced credit facilities to three stock broking firms, Fidelity Finance Limited, Spring Capital Limited and Falcon Securities Limited, and three subsidiaries of Union Bank Union Trustees, Union Assurance, and USL Nominees.
“These entities bought Afribank shares in the names of 1,258 subscribers, which accounted for 66.4% of the public offer. Subsequently, all six (6) entities repaid their loans to Union Bank, using funds made available to them through four (4) Afribank related entities and subsidiaries. Then on the instruction of the Afribank MD, the Afribank shares held by the 1,258 subscribers were consolidated to reflect beneficial ownership of nine (9) companies owned by the Bank and its directors in a total of fourteen (14) accounts.
“These actions are alleged by the SEC to constitute false trading. False trading is prohibited by the ISA in provisions that prohibit activities that may create a false or misleading appearance of active trading by engaging in the purchase or sale of a security that does not involve a change in the beneficial ownership of the security. Also allegedly violated is the general fraud provisions that prohibit the employment of a device, scheme or artifice to defraud that would operate as a fraud or deceit on any person in connection with the purchase or sale of a security”.
The below listed seventy-one entities have been sued in court for their varying roles and responsibilities in the above alleged schemes. •Falcon Securities Limited •Peter Ololo •O.j.a. Idudu •T.g. Ogisi •S.a. Otegbola •Matthew Udueho •J.t. Ogbeha •F. Nesiama •Eric Nwobi•Lucky Oghene-omoru •Fidelity Finance Company Limited •Osa Osunde •Philip Emioma •Queen Esther Erediauwa
•Jimmy Evbuomwan •Afribank Nigeria Plc •Afribank Capital Markets Limited •Afribank Registrars Limited •Ail Securities Limited •Afribank Trustees & Investments Limited
•Asset Management Nominees Limited •Union Bank Plc •Sebastian Adigwe •Osa Osunde •Ashim Adebowale Oyekan •Bala Zakariya’u •Chukwuemeka Okwosa •Anthony Adaba •Jibrin Isah •Chinedu Onyia•AIsa Mohammed Zailani •Henry O. Arogundade •Roberts Orya •Ben Nwoji •J.d. Lawuyi •Usman Zarma •B.m. Wali •Ndubuisi Osakwe •Adewale Adeniji •Chester Ukandu •John Maha •Bidi Umeh •Jooji Tor •Adetayo Ogunbajo •Ola Ifezulike •Henry Agunbiade •Dayo Afolabi •Umar Suleiman •Oladapo Malomo •Nathaniel Ottio •Abubakr Rajab •Shehu Usman •Abubakr •Ahonsi •Lawrence Idowu•Pac Capital Markets Limited (formely known Asspring Capital Markets Limited) •Chris Oshiafi •Anthony Adeniyi •Mike Chukwu •Tolu Fadahunsi •O. Unebu •Tony Ezenna •Cosmas Maduka•Union Capital Markets Limited •Niyi Opeodu •Ibrahim Gobir •Tunde Yamah •Salihu Ehimeakhe •Ebenezer Emeruem •Mohammed Adburaham •Olatunji Olutola