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Supreme Court fixes judgment for Nospetco Oil investors’ case

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Justice Muhammed Tanko

The Supreme Court of Nigeria has fixed June 11 for judgment in the case of investors in Nospetco Oil & Gas Ltd, whose N24.4 billion were trapped in the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN.

The five-man justices of the apex court, presided by Justice Aminat Augie adjourned the case for judgment after lawyers for all parties adopted their various briefs before the court.

The investors’ money were deposited with CBN by the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) as a result of the placement of an embargo on Nospetco’s operations.

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But the investors had through their counsel, Mr. Debo Adeleke, prayed the apex court to compel the CBN to release their money trapped in its coffer.

The investors led by Prince Emmanuel Matiluko, were mainly aged and pensioners, who had between 2004 and 2005 subscribed each with N450, 000 slots to an alleged fraudulent investment scheme put up by Nospetco Oil & Gas Ltd.

Following the judgment by the Investment And Security Tribunal in OA/17/07, the Federal Government listed Nospetco Oil & Gas Ltd amongst 48 companies as Wonder Banks.

In 2008, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) secured two Investment and Securities Tribunal (IST) judgments against the oil company, categorized as ‘Wonder Bank’, for ‘operating illegally and for engaging in a collective financial scheme without SEC approval’.

As a result of this development, 13, 741 investors filed a matter before the tribunal in 2010 against the company through their counsel, Mr. Debo Adeleke, with the aim of securing the release of their confiscated fund from Nospecto Oil and Gas by SEC and domiciled with CBN.

The matter, which took just eight months to be decided by the tribunal, went in favour of the investors, prompting Nospecto to file an appeal at the Court of Appeal.

It took the appellant court four months to also rule in favour of the investors.

However, Nospecto appealed the judgment of the Court of Appeal before the Supreme Court since 2012.

Some of investors have died, while some are bedridden as a result of the shock from the alleged seizure of their investments.

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