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Tribunal orders 30 ‘wonder banks’ to close shop

Posted by By ISAAC ANUMIHE, Abuja on 2008/07/18 | Views: 2315 |

Tribunal orders 30 ‘wonder banks’ to close shop


Investments and Securities Tribunal (IST) has ordered about 30 banks masquerading as fund managers across the country to close down and stop operating and/or withdrawing money from their accounts in all banks and companies in Nigeria.

Investments and Securities Tribunal (IST) has ordered about 30 banks masquerading as fund managers across the country to close down and stop operating and/or withdrawing money from their accounts in all banks and companies in Nigeria.

The order came following the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) prayer to close down and stop the companies popularly known as ‘wonder banks’ from operating as fund managers without SEC’s authorization.

According to a statement by IST, SEC had commenced the suit in November 2007 with complaints that the ‘wonder banks’ solicited, advertised and invited members of the public to deposit funds with a promise of paying as much as 500 per cent returns within one operational week, arguing that the deposit of money with them by the public for a fixed period and bearing interest was illegal and so sought an order of the tribunal to stop them from continuing to do business as fund managers, among other reliefs.

On the strength of the submissions, therefore, the tribunal had earlier in December 2007 issued an interim order, freezing the accounts of the companies pending the determination of the case.
But delivering final judgment in the matter last week, the tribunal authorized SEC to take custody of the investors’ funds found to be in possession of the 30 companies and their banks for the benefit of the investors.

Also, the tribunal ordered the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to determine the status of all the investors’ funds kept in the custody of the respondent 17 banks namely – Access Bank Plc, Diamond Bank Plc, Equatorial Trust Bank Plc, First Bank Plc, FirstInland Bank Plc, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, IBTC Chartered Bank Plc, Kakawa Discount House Ltd, Oceanic Bank Plc, Skye Bank Plc, Spring Bank Plc, Sterling Bank Plc, Union Bank Plc, United Bank for Africa, Unity Bank Plc, Wema Bank Plc, Zenith Bank Plc and Intercontinental Bank Plc.

Not only that, it also ordered SEC to withdraw and release to all confirmed investors the said funds found in the possession of the banks.
The affected ‘wonder banks’, the statement stated, include: All Green Investments Nigeria Limited, Andrew O. Irikefe (doing business in the name and style of Art Masters & Co.), Ndego Onyemaechi Fidelis (doing business in the name and style of Casheed Venture), Cyber International Limited, Fortune Access Interlinks Network Ltd, Goldpower Unique Services Ltd and Gorutrans Nig. Company Ltd.

Others are Interglobal Investment Ltd, Money Field Ltd, New Freedom Diversified Investment Ltd, Open Gate Multipurpose Investors Ltd, Orion Express Global Services Ltd, Pennywise Investment Ltd, Pennywise Royal Heritage Ltd, Positive Move International Nig. Ltd, Precious Golden Profile Ltd, Real & Cool Wealth International Ltd, Shola Olarewaju Ayinke (doing business in the name and style of Sefteg Nig.Co.), Silvertrust Global Investment Ltd, Successpoint Intercontinental Inv. Ltd, Torid Investment Ltd, Treasured Fund and Assets Ltd, Vikel Petroleum Ltd, Wealth Concept Global Ltd, and Wealthgate Multibiz International Ltd.

Also involved are Wealth Interlink Agency Ltd, Wealth Solution Ltd, Wealth Transfer and Logistic Ltd, Wilson O. Wilson (doing business in the name and style of Wilamas Ventures) and Wisdom Investments Nigeria ltd.
Similarly, out of the 37 wonder banks taken to the tribunal, the cases against Multimedia Enhance Lynk Ltd, Proven Insight Consultants Ltd and Kakawa Discount House Ltd were dismissed for want of evidence and the earlier interim order freezing their bank accounts were also vacated forthwith.

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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.