20 September 2017

Nigeria: Capital Market Infractions - SEC Bans Ogiemwonyi, Withdraws Operating Licence

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) tuesday banned the Managing Director of Partnership Investment Company Plc and Partnership Securities Limited, Mr. Victor Ogiemwonyi, for life from holding directorship positions in any public company quoted in Nigeria for his unprofessional conduct in the Nigerian capital market.

The capital market regulator also withdrew the operating licence of his companies.

Similarly, the Chairman of the companies, Mr. Henry Omoragbon, was suspended for a period of five years from engaging in capital market activities in the Nigerian capital market.

Ogiemwonyi was banned following the decision reached by the Administrative Proceeding Committee (APC) of SEC that heard all the complaints of market infractions and unprofessional conducts levelled against him.

Ogiemwonyi, who has criminal and civil charges against him in courts, was dragged before the APC for selling shares and misappropriating money of some of his clients. Particularly, the stockbroker was said to have sold shares of former Chief Executive Officer of Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI), Mr. Arnold Ekpe, worth N1.24 billion and misappropriated the proceeds.

According to SEC, after the APC hearing, Ogiemwonyi was found to have violated the commission's rules on separation of clients' funds from company's funds; unauthorised sale of clients' shares; failure/refusal to resolve clients' complaints; performance of a capital market function without registration; non-compliance with the Code of Corporate Governance of the Commission; filing of false/misleading information; non-compliance with SEC's rules on disclosure of transactions valued at N50 million (and above) executed in a single day, soliciting deposits from the public and other violations of the Investments and Securities Act, 2007, SEC Rules and Regulations, the Code of Conduct for Capital Market Operators and their Employees and Code of Corporate Governance for Public Companies.

The commission said: "Pursaunt to Section 38 (4) of the Investments and Securities Act 2007 and Rules 34 (1), (a) of the SEC Rules and Regulations made pursuant thereto, the certificate of registration of Partnership Investment Company Plc is hereby cancelled without prejudice to the recovery of all existing liabilities due to the complainants and penalties payable to the commission.

"Ogiemwonyi is hereby banned for life from engaging in capital market activities in the Nigerian capital market and ordered to pay a penalty of N100, 000 for breach of Rule 1(iii) of the Code of Conduct for Capital Market Operators and Their Employees as contained in the SEC Rules and Regulations made pursuant to the Investments an Securities Act 2007. He is also banned for life from holding directorship position in any public company in Nigeria for his unprofessional conduct in respect of the activities of the both companies."

Similarly, SEC suspended Omoragbon for a period of five years from engaging in capital market activities and ordered to pay a penalty of N100,000 for breach of Rule 1(iii) of the Code of Conduct for Capital Market Operators and Their Employees as contained in the SEC Rules and Regulations made pursuant to the Investments an Securities Act 2007.

The commission added that pursuant to Section 304 of the Investments and Securities Act 2007 all information on possible criminality in the matter would be referred to the appropriate law enforcement agencies.

Some Directors of the company, Mr. Ojetunde Taiwo, Mrs. Ogiemwonyi Olufunke, Mr. Ogiamien Frank, Mr. Adeusi Aladejola Alexander and Mrs Arese Ugwu, were also suspended for a period of five years from engaging in capital market activities and banned from holding directorship positions in any public company in Nigeria for the said period.

A manager in the company, Mr. Eseha Augustine Enejeta, was suspended for a period of one year from engaging in capital market activities and ordered to pay a penalty of N100,000 for breach of Rule 1(iii) of the Code of Conduct for Capital Market Operators and Their Employees.

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