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EXAMINATION REPORT: FIRST GUARANTEE PENSION SEEKS AMICABLE RESOLUTION WITH PENCOM

By NBF News
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By Innocent Anaba
The Board of First Guarantee Pension, FGPL, has appealed to the Acting Director General of National Pension Commission, PenCom for amicable resolution of issues raised in the target examination conducted by the commission on the company last year.

Congratulating Mrs. Chinelo Anohu-Amaizu on her recent appointment as Acting Director General of PenCom, the Chairman Board of FGPL, Chief Ojo Olaiya, said the company was ready to amicably resolve whatever differences that might have existed with the company.

He expressed the desire of the Board to work with the new PenCom team towards a just resolution of the crisis.

FGPL is a Pension Fund Administrator, PFA, licensed by PenCom with shareholders comprising both local and foreign shareholders, including Novare Holdings Proprietary Limited which holds 25 percent equity of the company.

In 2011, PenCom prepared a Draft Target Examination Report, where it indicted some Directors of FGPL.

The content of the Draft Target Examination was challenged in court by several parties, including the board of directors in joint capacity, as well Chief Olaiya and Nze Chidi Duru, both directors, who sued separately. Novare and Derrick Roper, a director in FGPL, also took up legal action.

On July 18 2012, Justice Donatus Okorowo of the Federal High Court, in its judgment, declared as null and void 'First Guarantee Pension Limited Target Examination Report' authored by PenCom on the basis of which the report was made in violation of the fundamental rights of a Director of FGPL.

Earlier on August 11 2011, Justice Okorowo, had restrained PenCom and its agents/privies from acting on the examination report or implementing any of the recommendations or penalties therein (including the removal of Derrick Roper as a director) until the determination of the suit brought by Novare.

However, on Monday August 15, 2011, PenCom, allegedly removed three directors of the company and replaced the management with an interim management committee, despite receipt of court orders.

PenCom also changed the bank mandates of the company and effectively took over the management of FGPL in what the aggrieved parties in FGPL termed 'a violation of the orders of the Federal High Court.'

PenCom issued a statement, saying it had taken over the management of FGPL with effect from August 15, 2011, which the regulator, said 'became necessary due to incessant shareholders squabbles and several issues of adverse corporate governance in the PFA.'

The Commission, said it 'had constituted an interim management committee to superintend over the affairs of FGPL until shareholders convene an Emergency General Meeting/Annual General Meeting with a view to properly constituting a board and putting an effective management for the PFA.'

Ruling on another matter on November 28, 2011, Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court, Lagos, granted reliefs restraining PenCom, their servants or agents, officers or representatives from interfering with and or dealing with the assets of FGPL or taking any steps or further actions in any form whatsoever or giving effect or any directives to the decisions communicated to the applicants pending the hearing and determination of their appeal.

The actions of the Commission were considered arbitrary by the final court's judgment and a breach of the rights of FGPL director to fair hearing.