EFCC to help check capital market infractions

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Nigerian Stock Exchange to guard against infraction of extant rules by players on the Exchange.

The Chief Executive Officer, NSE, Mr. Oscar Onyema, said this on Friday when the Chairman, EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Lamorde, visited the Exchange.

While addressing stockbrokers at the Exchange, the EFCC boss said, “The fact that the EFCC is at the NSE today and signed an MoU is an acknowledgement of the obvious significance of the NSE in the lives of millions of Nigerians and the nation as a corporate entity.”

He explained that the MoU was aimed  at  promoting corporation between both bodies, stressing that the commission would duly meet its obligations under the MoU “in order to help achieve the highest levels of accountability in the operations of the NSE.”

Lamorde, who explained the state of a country’s stock exchange mirrored its economy, said that in the past 10 years, the EFCC had occasions to intervene decisively in events or out comes of activities on the Exchange that were criminal and “uncovered all the criminally ingenius strategies used by unscropulous capital market plyers to scam and defraud hapless citizens of their savings and investments.”

He added that the EFCC currently had 20 cases at various stages of prosecution in courts across the contry and that it recently secured seven convictions in some of the cases that had been under trial.

All these, he explained, indicated that some capital market operators had not learned from the landmark cases, one of which saw the Managing Director, Thomas Kingsley Securities Limited, Mr. Kingsley Ikpe, sentenced to 163 years imprisonment for capital market infraction in 2005.

He, however, commended the current management of the Exchange for strengthening its regulatory role and promoting corporate governance, saying capital market infractions had reduced significantly.

He said, “I can confirm that the values of individual capital market infractions are fluctuating southwards in relation to the early years of EFCC intervention. It is possible that this may be on account of better corporate governabce on the part of the market players and stricter regulation.”

He also commended the NSE for introducing a new trading platform and other measures, which have boosted investor confidence and put the Nigerian capital market on par with the best in the world.

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