SEC sets up committee to check market abuse

By The Citizen

The Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday inaugurated its Administrative Proceedings Committee to speedily resolve disputes in the capital market.

The APC, to be headed by the Director-General, SEC, Ms. Arunmah Oteh, was inaugurated at the commission's headquarters in Abuja by the SEC Chairman, Dr. Suleyman Ndanusa.

The APC is a quasi-judicial body established for the purpose of resolving disputes in the capital market and giving opportunity for fair hearing to capital market operators and other institutions perceived to have violated or threatened to violate the provisions of market rules and regulations.

The committee is also a fact finding one that will conduct further inquiries into the substance of alleged violations of securities law, act in the interest of the public and also maintain fair and orderly capital market.

Ndanusa said the APC would deal with grievances by market participants and resolve serious disputes and issues bordering on civil violation of securities laws and the rule of SEC.

He said, 'Besides, it is a veritable mechanism for giving fair hearing to persons suspected to have violated the Securities Act.

'We all know that the principle of fair hearing is vital to any system of justice and the right of the populace. This is what SEC APC seeks to achieve, among others.'

The SEC APC, he noted, would not deliberate on criminal violations, which are under the jurisdiction of the law enforcement agencies and the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation.

Explaining the power of SEC to set up the APC, Ndanusa said the commission drew its powers from Section 303(5) and 310 of the Investment and Securities Act.

Section 303(5) of the Act specifically mandates the commission to give fair hearing to any person in violation of the Act or rules of the commission before it can impose any penalty for such violation.

On the other hand, Section 310 gives the commission powers to appoint committees to enable it to carry out its functions.