SEC arraigns firm, boss over alleged illegal sale of N58m NB, Guinness shares
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has said that the Managing Director (MD) of Brentonwoods Limited, Samuel Adebanjo and his company have been charged before Justice Muslim Hassan of the Federal High Court 12, Ikoyi, Lagos, on a two-count charge of alleged fraud relating to illegal sale of shares of Nigerian Breweries (NB) and Guinness Plc belonging to a client.
According to SEC, Adebanjo pleaded not guilty to the charge and the court adjourned the matter to March 19, 2019 and remanded the defendant in prison custody.
In a statement yesterday, Acting Director-General of the Commission, Mary Uduk, said in the charge, Brentonwoods Limited and Samuel Adebanjo were alleged to have conspired within themselves to commit a felony to wit: defraud by selling and converting to their own personal use the proceeds of 537,872 units of Nigeria Breweries Plc shares and 21,260 units of Guinness Nigeria Plc shares valued at N58,461,391.49 belonging to the family of Akin Olugbade.
The offence, alleged to have been committed between 2004 and 2014 in Lagos, she said, contravened Section 516 of the Criminal Code Act, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 and punishable under the same section.
Uduk, who assured investors that the commission would not hesitate to invoke the full weight of the law on any capital market operator involved in fraudulent activities, urged investors to take advantage of the various initiatives put in place by the commission to ensure that proceeds from sale of shares go directly into the investors’ accounts to avoid mismanagement by operators.
According to her: “We are doing a lot to boost investors’ confidence and ensure their funds are not mismanaged. We have a number of initiatives that we have put in place to boost investors’ confidence.
“We have the electronic Dividend Mandate System (EDMS), the Direct Cash Settlement (DCS) as well as multiple subscription in place.
“We also protect them through the National Investors Protection Fund (NIPF), a risk-based supervision that enables us to supervise the operators to ensure that they do not do what they are not supposed to do.
“And again, the Complaints Management Framework (CMF) enables investors to know where to complain to and how long it takes for such complaints to be resolved.
She, therefore, urged investors to ensure they only patronise fund managers that are registered with the SEC, as this is one of the steps in safeguarding their investments.