IST pledges speedy resolution of capital market disputes
• To prioritise investors Interests
The Chairman of Investment and Securities Tribunal (IST), Isaiah Idoko-Akoh, has assured investors and other stakeholders in the nation’s capital market of speedy resolutions of disputes, and giving priority to investors’ interests.
The IST was initially established under Section 224 of the Investments and Securities Act (ISA) 1999, which has been repealed and replaced by the ISA 2007. It is an independent specialised civil court that operates a fast-track adjudicatory system with the mandate, among others, to provide accessible, affordable, timely as well as efficient means of settling/resolving disputes arising from transactions in the Nigerian capital market.
However, the IST was inactive for more two years before the the federal government recently appointed new members with Idoko-Akoh as chairman..
Speaking in Lagos, the IST chairman assured stakeholders that the Tribunal would put interests of investors first, saying there won’t be a capital market if there are no investors.
“In the capital market, the interests of the investors are paramount. If they are not there, then there is no market. And one of the ways of keeping the interest of the investors is to have a good enforcement mechanism. Whatever infraction may come up is addressed through a good enforcement mechanism. And the IST offers that if everybody is happy, then the market will move on.
“The world now is global, Nigerian economy cannot exist without foreign element coming in to boost it, and the foreigners cannot come in if they have no confidence that if they come in to invest, they will go back with good returns. And coming to invest, they need to see transparency in the market, good rate of return. If there is no transparency and good rate return, nobody will come and invest in our markets,” he said.
According to him, IST has come to put things properly and restore confidence among investors such that if they have disputes in the market, they would be resolved through the mechanism of the Tribunal.
He disclosed that members of the IST are working very hard to ensure that disputes are resolved within the three months stipulated by the law that established it.
“For the over two years that the IST has been dormant, many investors and stakeholders have been crying. We want to adhere strictly to the time stipulated to resolve and even ensure that most of the cases are disposed off before the three months, because timeliness is very important in taking investment decisions. If the time is going to be too long, then the purpose is defeated. Here, we are coming up with a radical departure from what used to be the position,” Idoko-Akoh stated.
He noted that the Tribunal will try as much as possible to do away with frivolous applications, “those that will delay the course of justice, that will frustrate an investor from reaping the benefits of his investments in the market because of some fraudulent practices or controversies.”