Court Jails Illegal Market Operator Five Years

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Nigerian Newspaper Headlines Today: 6th April 2020

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The Federal High Court Kaduna Division has sentenced Moses Samanja, the managing director of an illegal market operator (Marian Moses Ventures Limited) to five-year imprisonment.

The court also ordered that the Corporate Affairs Commission should wind up the said Marian Moses Ventures Limited; while funds in the accounts of the firm should be used to restitute its clients.

This was contained in a post by the Securities and Exchange Commission on its website on Thursday.

The post read in part, “The management of the Securities and Exchange Commission wishes to draw the attention of the investing public to the judgment of the Federal High Court Kaduna division of October 27, 2016, which handed down a five-year imprisonment term against one Moses Samanja, the Managing Director of the illegal operator (Marian Moses Ventures limited).

“It also ordered that the CAC should wind up the said Mariam Moses Ventures Limited; while funds in the accounts of the firm should be used to restitute its clients.”

Marian Moses Ventures Limited was convicted for soliciting and collecting deposits from unsuspecting members of the public with unrealistic return on investment without a SEC registration or the Central Bank of Nigeria licence.”

The capital market apex regulator said the conviction of the illegal operator would serve as warning to perpetrators of illegal investment schemes, adding that regulators would not “fold their arms” in the fight against the activities of illegal fund/investments managers.

Consequent upon the above, “This is to advise the investing public to always demand for a SEC registration or CBN licence before making deposit or subscribing to a scheme promoted by any firm,” SEC said.

In a related development, SEC also said it had lifted the suspension of Heritage Capital Markets Limited from capital market activities, together with its directors and sponsored individuals.

The management of SEC signed the document which cleared the company, while also posting the same on its website.

SEC had suspended Heritage Capital Markets and its directors as well as sponsored individuals in December last year over the alleged unauthorised sale of shares belonging to an investor and the company’s refusal to comply with the commission’s directives over the matter.

SEC had warned the general public that the suspension was indefinite.

The regulator was quoted to have said that, “The general public is hereby informed that the suspension is indefinite and shall remain in force pending the resolution of the matter against the operator.”

As the apex regulatory authority of the Nigerian capital market, the commission recently said it would do everything within the confines of the Investments and Securities Act (2007) and the Rules and Regulations made pursuant to the Act, to ensure the protection of investors and their investments in the market.

The commission has established a robust framework for investigating complaints received from investors, and also has an enforcement mechanism.

It said it would “continue to maintain zero tolerance for any form of infraction in the market, while adopting a risk-based monitoring and supervision of operators and institutions in the market to forestall potential systemic collapse.

SEC imposes stiff sanctions on erring operators to serve as a deterrent within the limits permitted by law, while infractions with elements of criminality are referred to the law enforcement agencies for prosecution as provided under Section 304 of the ISA 2007. In furtherance to this, the commission has developed a thriving partnership with the Nigerian Police Force and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to prosecute these matters.

Source: Punch

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