FHC Orders SEC to vacate suspension of BGL Plc and sponsored individuals


Tuesday, June 02, 2015 4:15 PM / News

While the conspiracy of silence over the BGL Plc matters continue to resonate as a defining attribute of Nigeria’s capital market, its self-inflicting damage on investors psyche and the regulatory process echoed loudly today with the publication of the attached Federal High Court order(the second one to be so obtained by BGL Plc) over the decision(s) of SEC to extend / move further in its decision to assume control of the management of BGL Plc.

From the records now in our possession, the Federal High Court has ordered the vacation of the Securities & Exchange Commission of May 21, 2015 to suspend the company and its sponsored individuals/directors from all capital market activities.

In a ruling dated May 27, 2015 and served on all parties on May 28, 2015; an order of interim injunction staying and/or suspending the implementation of the findings or recommendations reached by the purported “Executive Management Committee” pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice filed by BGL Plc was granted in Lagos.

Further, the court ordered in effect that SEC should put in abeyance its decisions and respect this and previous court orders issued in respect of the subject plaintiffs – BGL Plc, BGL Asset Managment Ltd, BGL Capital Ltd, BGL securities Ltd and Mr. Albert Okumagba.

We do not yet have a definitive position / reaction from the SEC on this development.

Recall that on May 21, 2015, SEC  published the suspension of the BGL Group from all capital market activities after the “Executive Management Committee” considered  the report  of its detailed investigation into the various complaints received from investors against licensed operator(s).

This was after BGL had obtained a court order that “nullified” SEC’s earlier decision to appoint a seven-man Interim Management Team (IMT) led by a fellow operator, Mr. Oladipo Aina  and based on an order from Investment and Securities Tribunal (IST), which by extension has the same coordinate jurisdiction with the Federal High Court. SEC equally appointed an auditing firm - SIAO Partners to conduct a forensic audit into the affairs of the BGL Group from 2008 to 2015, the intervening period covered by their investigations and complaints.

The above thus set up an interesting scenario that should offer the market a teachable moment on how the decisions of the FHC and the IST can and will be judged by operators and investors.

This development in the market remains a litmus test that extends as well as appropriate the comments we established in our contribution -
BGL Plc - Of Regulatory Action, Investor Confidence Issues and Matters Arising – Apr 24, 2015.

The jury is out. It should be enlightening for the hitherto silent market to engage now and eliminate speculations about a witch hunt as against a precedent-setting market action; which hopefully can and should be tested in the courts or a resolution of co-ordinate jurisdictions.

Copy of Court Order dated May 27, 2015 Here

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