A Lagos Federal High Court, presided by Justice Mohammed Yunusa, on Thursday, vacated an interim injunction barring the Security and Exchange Commission, SEC, from expelling BGL Group from capital market activities over alleged fraud and malpractices.
The SEC had announced the expulsion of BGL from the Nigerian capital market after receiving over 40 petitions from aggrieved investors who claimed to have been defrauded by the company.
BGL’s Group Managing Director, Albert Okumagba, was also banned from operating as a Registered Sponsored Individual with SEC.
But the company, through its counsel, Mr. Kemi Pinheiro (SAN), had on May 27, 2015 obtained an interim injunction by Justice Saliu Saidu, stopping SEC from giving effect to the ban.
Justice Yunusa while delivering ruling on an application filed by SEC to discharge the order on Thursday, held that BGL concealed material facts from Justice Saidu who gave the interim injunction.
The judge also stated that he was persuaded by the submission of counsel to SEC, Profesor Kayinsola Ajayi (SAN), who argued that the order was granted in error.
Ajayi, in an application to discharge the order, stated that the ban on BGL was to protect members of the public who were investing in the capital market.
He also informed the court that BGL had been running at a loss to the tune of over N48.1bn since December 2014, adding that the BGL was indebted to various capital market investors, including the Rivers State Ministry of Finance, to the tune of about N5.8bn as of June 2, 2015.
Ajayi also informed the court that the company and its boss, Albert Okumagba have a case to answer before the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, which had also received over 40 petitions against them from aggrieved investors.
Yunusa said an interim order obtained through the suppression of material facts was bound to be discharged and he did accordingly.
Earlier, the judge had also dismissed an application for stay of proceedings filed by Pinheiro.
Pinheiro had asked Yunusa to stay proceedings in view of the petitions written by SEC to the National Judicial Council against Justice Saidu and other judges who had granted interim orders in favour of BGL.
Pinheiro had argued that it would be prejudicial for Yunusa to proceed with the case while the decision of the NJC was still being awaited.
But Yunusa dismissed the application for stay of proceedings on the grounds that rather than attach the certified true copies of the petitions, Pinheiro attached only newspapers reports.
The judge while adjourned till September 22, for ruling on all pending applications, also rejected the oral application by Chukwudi Enebeli, from Pinheiro’s chamber, who asked for an order to maintain status quo pending outstanding rulings.

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