Director General SEC, Lamido Yuguda
By Barnabas Esiet.
The Federal Government has arraigned Dantata Success and Profitable Company (DSPC) and their promoters before the Federal High Court in Abuja for investment fraud amounting to over N2billion. Those charged along with the company are Basira Ibrahim Dantata, Lawan Sanni and Gaji Ibrahim Dantata.
The defendants, arraigned before Justice A. I. Chikere of Federal High Court 3, were alleged to have fraudulently lured about 7,250 investors, between 2018 and 2019 within the jurisdiction of the court, to subscribe and invest in an unregistered investment scheme amounting to over N2 billion.
According to the charge, the defendants committed an offence contrary to Section 54 of the Investments and Securities Act 2007 and punishable under same section.
Recall that the Securities and Exchange Commission pursuant to its powers under Section 13 of the Investments and Securities Act (ISA), 2007, on 6 February 2019 sealed up the business premises of DSPC, for allegedly engaging in illegal activities in the Nigerian capital market.
Furthermore, the Commission obtained court orders to freeze the bank accounts of the company to preserve the funds of investors in line with the relevant section of the ISA 2007.
“The company was not registered or authorized by the Commission to engage in any activity in the capital markets, however it targeted and reached Nigerian investors through radio programs in the Kano area of Nigeria and collected large sums of money from investors under the guise of a “structured investment”. Read a recent statement by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
According to the Commission, the activities of the company contravene the provisions of Section 38(1) and 67(1) of the Investments and Securities Act which respectively, prohibit unregistered and unauthorized entities/persons from operating any investment business or making any invitation to the public to acquire or dispose of any securities of a body corporate or to deposit money with anybody corporate for a fixed period or payable at call.
When the matter came up in court, one of the defendants Gaji Ibrahim Dantata was not available due to health reasons.Justice Chikere thereby adjourned the matter to November 5, 2020 for plea and motion filed by the defendants.
The Commission has warned the public to exercise utmost caution before deciding to subscribe to investment schemes and to always confirm the registration status of any company or individual and the products they are offering before entering into any transaction with them.