Court Vacates Order Stopping BGL’s Suspension From Capital Market | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Court Vacates Order Stopping BGL’s Suspension From Capital Market

Posted: Sep 18, 2015 at 12:09 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Tunde Opeseitan,


A Federal High Court in Lagos on Thursday vacated an interim injunction restraining the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) from suspending BGL Group from capital market activities over alleged fraud and malpractices.

SEC had suspended BGL from the Nigerian capital market after receiving over 40 petitions from aggrieved investors who claimed to have been defrauded by the company.

But the company, through its counsel, Kemi Pinheiro (SAN), had on May 27, 2015 obtained an interim injunction by Justice Saliu Saidu of the Federal High Court in Lagos, stopping SEC from giving effect to the ban.

However, ruling on an application filed by SEC to discharge the order on Thursday, another judge of the court, Justice Mohamed Yunusa held that BGL concealed material facts from Justice Saidu who gave the interim injunction.

Justice Yunusa said he was persuaded by the counsel for SEC, Kayinsola Ajayi (SAN), who argued that the order was granted in error.

Ajayi had, in the application to discharge the order, stated that the ban on BGL was to protect members of the public who were investing in the capital market.

He had informed the court that BGL had been running at a loss to the tune of over N48.1 billion as of December 2014.

He also stated that the company was indebted to various capital market investors, including the Rivers State Ministry of Finance, to the tune of  about over N5.8 billion as of  June 2, 2015.

Besides, Ajayi disclosed to the court that the company and its boss had a case to answer before the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), which had also received over 40 petitions against them from aggrieved investors.

Justice Yunusa said an interim order obtained through the suppression of material facts was bound to be discharged and he accordingly did.

Earlier, the judge had also dismissed an application for stay of proceedings filed by Pinheiro.

Pinheiro had asked the court to stay proceedings in view of the petitions written by SEC to the National Judicial Council (NJC) against Justice Saidu and other judges who had granted interim orders in favour of BGL.

Pinheiro had argued that it would be prejudicial for Justice Yunusa to proceed with the case while the decision of the NJC was still being awaited.

But Justice Yunusa dismissed the application for stay of proceedings on the grounds that rather than attach the certified true copies of the petitions, Pinheiro attached only newspapers reports.

The judge adjourned ruling on pending applications till September 22, 2015 after also rejecting the oral application by Pinheiro’s junior, Chukwudi Enebeli, who asked for an order to maintain status quo pending outstanding rulings.