April 08, 2009 at 09:00 GMT
Afroil Plc, one of the six (6) companies involved in the February 2008 share price manipulation is not yet left off the hook of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Mohammed Bala Usman, Special Assistant to Musa Al-Faki, Director General (DG) of the Commission confirmed this in Lagos Nigeria at an informal media parley with Capital Market Correspondence.
He affirmed that Afroil had in late February 2009 appeared before the Administrative Proceedings Committee (APC) of SEC in Abuja Nigeria.
Bala Usman confirmed that apart from the price movement of Afroil shares, the Commission also discovered a lot of Insider Dealings.
“The price will move and then the Directors of Afroil will sell” he said.
He further confirmed that while SEC is handling the civil aspect of the Afroil issue, the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) would take over the criminal aspect; because as a Capital Market Regulator, it is not within their purview to handle criminal matters.
“Right now that I am talking to you, while the SEC is handling the civil aspect of that the case, the EFCC is taking over the criminal aspect, because we as a Regulatory Agency do not have the powers to handle criminal matters” Bala Usman said.
This is coming on the heels of the Commission earlier writing to five (5) out of the six (6) companies alleged to have been involved in price manipulation.
As earlier reported by Proshare NI, SEC on February 14 2008 commenced investigations into six quoted firms to ascertain issues over price manipulation on share prices and defrauding of investors.
The companies investigated were African Petroleum Plc (AP). Big Treat Plc, Afroil Plc, First Aluminum Plc, Capital Oil Plc, and IPWA Plc.
Prior to this time, investors and the general public had pointed accusing fingers on SEC of not making open the results of their findings as regards the “February six” allegation.
In the same vein, Lanre Oloyi, Head of Media of the Commission affirmed that SEC having written five (5) of the companies, it is the duty of these companies to relate the Report of the Commission on their companies to investors and the general public.
However, as at the time of filling in this story, Proshare NI is yet to contact Femi Babafemi, Head of Media of EFCC on the issue of the Commission handling the criminal aspect of the Afroil share price saga as affirmed by the representative of SEC.