By Folasade Akpan
Abuja, Oct. 8, 2021 The Investments and Securities Tribunal (IST) has delivered judgment worth over N868 billion in favor of market litigants and it also successfully disposed of over 500 market cases from the primary and secondary market since its inception in December 2002.
Mr Amos Azi, Chairman of the tribunal, made the revelation at a one day virtual symposium organised by the Association of Capital Markets Academics of Nigeria on the role of IST in the development of the capital market.
In a statement on Friday in Abuja, Azi added that 80 per cent of the tribunal’s decisions have also been upheld by the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court.
According to him, the tribunal boosts international recognition for the Nigerian capital market being the first of its kind in Africa.
He added that the Nigerian capital market had received accolades from across the globe and was being described as “an excellent start in redressing Nigeria’s negative history in financial matter”.
He, however, said that the tribunal was often heavily weighed down by poor funding and had to justify the rationale for its establishment.
“The decision to set up the tribunal has in no small way helped to stabilise the Nigerian stock market, attract and retain investors’ confidence in the market, elicited local and international commendation which has given rise to calls for other capital markets to establish a similar court.”
Also speaking at the symposium, Prof. Augustine Agom of the Faculty of Law, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, said confidence drives the market, while dispute resolution was a key stimulant.
He added that in whichever way they arose, capital market disputes were very complex and complicated.
Agom explained that this gave rise to the need for confidence in the market before dispute resolution of the capital market could effect changes, generate new ideas or knowledge, establish boundaries between the possible and impossible in the market and the creation of mutual trust could be achieved.
Mrs Toyin Sanni of Emerging African Group, said that there was the need for a faster way to adjudicate the cases and take them out of the dockets that were too full in the regular courts.
She said that the existence of the IST boosts investor confidence as it demonstrates commitment to the resolution of market disputes.
Mr Charles Udora, a former Executive Commissioner of Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), said that the IST was too small for Nigeria where there were lots of capital market issues.
“Looking at the capital market today, there are quite a number of small investors who bear the brunt of failures and misappropriation of funds in the market and non-compliance issues.
“Most of them get frustrated when they cannot afford the lawyer, so the tribunal can set up a desk that such litigants can approach and have their complaints recorded, served on the party involved and initiate proceeding.”
Udora, who described the capital market as a barometer of any economy where the government runs to for funds, said there was triangular trading which was a serious dispute and had not been taken care of by operators and regulators of the capital market.
“It is a situation where stock broking firm A will dictate to stock broker B to buy and B will sell to stock broker C who will clear everything. This contributed to the collapse of the capital market between 2007 and 2008”, he said.
He was, however, of the opinion that for IST to impact more, it needs resident judges in the locations where they had more cases.
Tribunal delivers N868bn judgment in favor of litigants
By Folasade Akpan