Alleged Irrational Decision: First Registrars Engages SEC In Legal Battle


In a bid to overturn an alleged procedural invalid and irrational decision, one of the foremost capital market operators, First Registrars Nigeria Limited, has dragged Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), before a Federal High Court in Lagos.

In an application for the order of the court granting leave to apply for judicial review of the decision of SEC filed before the court on behalf of the applicant by a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Dr. B.A. M. Ajibade, the deponent, Rauf Bello, in an affidavit in support of the said application, averred that in December 2007, Platinum Habib Bank conducted a public offer of shares, and First Registrars was one of the receiving agents appointed by the bank.

Long after the closure of the offer, the plaintiff received a letter dated 14 April 2009 from a lawyer to one Elder Nkem Nosiri, informing him that a firm, Millennium Securities and Investment Limited, was engaged by the said Elder Nosiri, to purchase 20 million units of the bank’s offer for which he paid N340 million and additional N40 million as gratification for preferential allotment of the shares.

It was further alleged that at the end of the whole exercise, no shares were allotted to Elder Nkem Nosiri rather, his application forms were substituted with fictitious ones and allotted only 20,000 units which he could not claim since they were not bearing his name nor that of any of his family.

Consequently, he made a formal complaint to Security and Exchange Commission who later convened an all-parties meeting on the matter, where each party stated its case.

Having concluded the meeting, SEC, in a letter dated 20 August, 2010 directed that First Registrars should refund to the complainant, N339,830,000 being the value of the N10,000 units allotted in his name plus accrued interest from the date of receiving the money till date of payment.

First Registrars was also directed to pay SEC N5,000 per day from the date of receiving the money till the date of payment to the complainant.

First Registrars Nigeria Limited is now urging the court not only to declare the decision of Security and Exchange Commission as procedurally invalid, unreasonable, illegal and irrational, but to also quash it.

Security and Exchange Commission, however, is yet to file any defence in the suit. Meanwhile, the presiding judge, Justice Pat Ajoku, has ordered that all the court’s processes be served on the defendants.

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