Uche Usim, Abuja
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, inaugurated on Thursday the fully constituted board of the Investments and Securities Tribunal (IST).
The Minister swore-in lawyers Mr Azi Amos Isaac, appointed for the first term of five years, and Mr Nosa Smart Osemwengie, who has been re-appointed for the second term of four years, as Chairman and Member of the IST, respectively.
Speaking at the event, the Minister charged the Chairman to provide good leadership that would galvanise the human and material resources at the Tribunal’s disposal on the path of stability towards achieving its mandate in a consistent manner.
She called on members of the IST to cooperate with the new Chairman, so that the vision of the Tribunal – ‘to be a world class capital market tribunal that is fair and transparent, dispensing justice without fear or favour’ – CAN be attained.
‘With your appointment, the Tribunal now has a full complement of 10 members in line with the enabling law, the Investments and Securities Act (ISA), 2007. It is, therefore, my hope that all the members will justify the confidence reposed in them by President Muhammadu Buhari by diligently working together to discharge the responsibilities of the Tribunal,’ Ahmed said.
She noted that the coming of the board was well-timed as it came at a time when all hands are needed to build the economy.
‘As you all may be aware, the IST was first inaugurated in December 2002. It is a specialised fast-track court, established for the settlement of disputes in the capital market.’
According to Ahmed, the Tribunal is needed because of the time-sensitive nature of capital market transactions which the regular courts cannot cope with.
‘The Tribunal is fashioned after world-class tribunals like the Financial Services and Market Tribunal (FSMT) of the United Kingdom (UK) and the Market Misconduct Tribunal of Hong Kong. The core mandate of the tribunal is to conduct its proceedings speedily and to dispose of any matter brought before it within three months from the commencement of the substantive hearing,’ she explained.
Since its establishment, the Tribunal, Mrs Ahmed noted, has made some strides, particularly in its adjudicatory role which has gone a long way to sanitise the capital market and build investors’ confidence. Within its short time of its existence, in view of the dynamism in law, ‘the Tribunal has reviewed its Procedure Rules with the publication of the IST (Procedure) Rules 2014. Also worthy of note is that the tribunal has partnered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to review the enabling law with the enactment of the ISA, 2007.
The Tribunal has to its credit the publication of “The Nigerian Investments and Securities Law Report (NISLR)”. The publication, the Minister noted, enhanced capital market jurisprudence.