The Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, yesterday, vacated an interim injunction stopping the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) from expelling BGL Group from capital market activities over alleged fraud and malpractices.
Justice Mohammed Yunusa, who lifted the order held, while ruling on a preliminary objection filed by the SEC to discharge the injunction, that BGL concealed material facts from Justice Saliu Saidu who gave the interim injunction.
Saidu had on May 27, 2015, granted the order after hearing an interim application filed by BGL through their counsel, Kemi Pinheiro.
The 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. The SEC also banned BGL’s group managing director, Albert Okumagba, from operating as a registered sponsored individual with the SEC.
However, BGL had approached the court to challenge its suspension by urging the court to restrain the SEC from further giving wide publicity to the suspension, either on its website or in the newspapers, saying it had been adversely affected and injured in every conceivable manner.
However, ruling on an application filed by the SEC to discharge the order on Thursday, Yunusa held that he was convinced by the arguments of the counsel to the SEC, Prof. Kayinsola Ajayi, that the order was granted in error. He held that an interim order obtained through the suppression of material facts was bound to be discharged and he accordingly dismissed the order.
Ajayi had argued 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 at December 2014. He also insisted that the company was indebted to various capital market investors, including the Rivers State Ministry of Finance, to the tune of about N5.8 billion as at June 2, 2015, and further disclosed to the court that the company and its boss had a case to answer before the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission which had also received over 40 petitions against them from aggrieved investors.
Source : Leadership