By Chinyere Joel-Nwokeoma
The Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, has slammed a life ban on Albert Okumagba, the group Managing Director, BGL Group and his deputy, Chibundu Edozie.
A statement pasted on the commission’s website on Wednesday said SEC has also cancelled the licenses of Assets Management Limited and BGL Securities Ltd belonging to Okumagba.
It said the duo were also banned from ever holding office in any public company in the country.
The commission said that these were the final decisions of the SEC Administrative Proceedings Committee (APC) in the matter of APC/1/2015: Rivers State Ministry of Finance & 31 Others V. BGL Plc & 31 Others.
SEC indicated that the companies and their officials breached extant capital market laws and rules that led to a loss of N5.77 billion to 32 innocent investors.
It stated that the decisions on Okumagba and others were final as the decisions have “been approved by the relevant authority”.
According to the commission, it received 32 complaints between 2012 and 2015 against the BGL companies over certain conducts in relation to operations of their Guaranteed Consolidated Notes (GCN) and Guaranteed Premium Notes (GPN).
“Investigations revealed that the 1st to the 4th respondents had through the 5th to 32nd respondents breached some provisions of the Investment and Securities Act (ISA) 2007 as well as the SEC Rules and Regulations, which resulted to a loss of about N5,769,993,553.67 for 32 innocent investors,” SEC stated.
The Commission stated that in order to ensure that the innocent investors obtain justice while also granting all parties fair hearing, the Commission invited all parties before the APC and having properly issued hearing notices, the APC sat on Dec. 8, 2016 to hear the matter.
According to SEC, in the course of the hearing, testimonies and documentary evidence were tendered by various parties, which led to the decisions of the APC.
NAN reports that other officials that were affected include Mr Peter Adebola, who was banned for five years, Joseph Ashley-Osuzoka was banned for four years with a fine of N100,000, Joshua Sesan Adetiloye and Ms Mshelia Bittinger were banned for one year.
Others are Nkechi Azubuike, Victor Inyang, Hilary Eludu, and Andre Ewubare who were slammed with two-year ban with a fine of N100,000 each, while Anthony Nwozor was banned for one year with a fine of N100,000.
Also, Okumagba and Edozie were directed to pay N100,000 fine each, while BGL Assets Management Ltd and BGL Securities Ltd.,were directed to pay N23.2 million and N10.1 million respectively.
The circular stated that another BGL company, BGL Plc, was directed to pay a fine of N5 million.