15 May 2013

Nigeria: SEC Revives Dispute Resolution Mechanism

The Administrative Proceedings Committee (APC) of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will commence sitting and begin to resolve disputes following the reconstitution of its membership.

The APC is a vital leg of the SEC's market enforcement machinery. It is a quasi-judicial body established pursuant to the Investment and Securities Act (ISA) 2007, Sections 310 and 303(5) as a mechanism for dispute resolution and for ensuring fair hearing for all parties (capital market operators and other institutions) involved in disputes arising from capital market transactions.

It is supposed to act in the public interest, having regard to the protection of investors, and the maintenance of a fair and orderly market.

However, the APC has been dormant for a long time. But the Director General of the SEC, Ms. Arunma Oteh, disclosed recently that the strengthening of the APC was top on the agenda of the new board of the commission.

The new look APC, which will be inaugurated today, has Oteh as Chairperson, and eight other members; two SEC executive commissioners and two non-executive commissioners. The other three members are drawn strategically from the judiciary (Hon. Justice Ibrahim Umar - a former Chief Judge of Kebbi State); academia is Prof. Esosa Bob-Osaze, a Professor of Finance and capital markets who is the current Dean of Post-Graduate Studies at the University of Benin and the global market place (Dr. Ike Michaels Odenigwe).

According to SEC, the reconstitution of the APC is in line with the pledge by its Chairman, Suleyman Ndanusa, early in the year to "elevate the culture of integrity in the market through a strict regime of rule enforcement."

Over the years, the APC has resolved hundreds of cases between investors and market operators, disputes between operators, instances of violation of the rules governing conduct in the market by participants.

Meanwhile, the stock market closed on a positive note as 31 stocks recorded gains compared with 25 that lost value.

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