Operators Lobby SEC over Publication of Names


By Goddy Egene, 08.25.2010


Intense lobby by some affected operators has delayed the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) from making public the names  of  the remaining 190 individuals and corporate bodies  that were dragged to Investment and Securities Tribunal (IST) by the apex regulator over capital market infractions, THISDAY checks have revealed.In line with its naming and shaming principle as a way of discouraging fraudulent practices in the market, SEC had about a month ago dragged  360 individuals and entities to  IST for prosecution. 


The Commission had publicish the names of 70 individuals and corporate bodies with the assurance that the remaining 190 offenders would be disclosed in due course.  However, sources close to SEC said that the Commission has been under serious pressure from those involved in the violation.It was gathered that while some of the alleged offenders have been sending emissaries to lobby the top management staff of the Commission, others are using subtle ways  to convince SEC that making  the names public now will worsen the already fragile investor confidence.  


“Some people have made direct contact with the Commission on the need to soft pedal on the issue, while others are using a subtle way  by telling SEC that taking them to IST will have a negative  impact. Some of them are saying that the decision of SEC to take them to IST does not follow due process.


To such operators, their belief  is  that  those who are dissatisfied with the way a conflict is resolved normally  go to  IST for intervention. But for the regulator to take them to IST is an extremist strategy that could be counterproductive,” a source said. Justifying the  prosecution of  violators, Special Adviser to  the Director-General, SEC, Dr. Simeon Obidairo, had  said that the Commission wants to ensure that when investors  invest in the market, their funds are not stolen. 
He stressed that all those who have stolen investors’ money in the past would be made to pay back. 


He said one of the reliefs the Commission  is seeking from the IST is that those who have used investors’ money to enrich their own pockets would be made to pay back and a special protection fund would be established for investors to get back their money.  Instead of excising fears that the naming and shaming tactics of the Commission would  affect the market negatively, he said  rather the market would reap  more benefits  on the long run. 


“The heart of SEC’s enforcement strategy is restoring investor confidence. At the minimum, this means providing credible deterrence by making sure that we use all our statutory tools to litigate market abuses to the bitter end,” he said.  Obidairo, explained that  a Special  Protection Fund  would be established where  investors who have lost money in the nation’s capital market to dubious operators would be compensated. 





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