N24.4bn Nospecto Investors’ Funds: S’C Fixes June 11 For Judgment
The Supreme Court of Nigeria has fixes June 11 to deliver judgment in a suit filed by over 14, 000 investors in Nospecto Oil and Gas Limited, whose funds trapped in the Central Bank of Nigeria, (CBN).
The five-man Justices of the apex court, headed by Justice Aminat Augie, fixed the date for judgment after lawyers for all parties adpoted their various briefs before the court.
The 14,296 investors’ whose N24.4 billion was deposited with the CBN by the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) following an embargo it placed on Nospecto’s operations.
Lawyer to the investors, Mr. Debo Adeleke, urged the ApexCourt to compel the CBN to release the money trapped in its coffer.
The investors, most of who are aged and pensioners, led by Prince Emmanuel Matiluko, had between 2004 and 2005, subscribed to a fraudulent investment scheme put up by Nospetco Oil & Gas Limited, each with N450,000 slot.
Following the judgment by Investment And Security Tribunal in OA/17/07, the Federal Government listed Nospetco Oil & Gas Limited amongst 48 companies as Wonder Banks.
In 2008, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) had secured two Investment and Securities Tribunal (IST) judgments against the oil company, categorized as ‘Wonder Bank’, for ‘operating illegally and for engaging in collective financial scheme without SEC approval.
Following the development, the 13, 741 investors filed a matter before the tribunal in 2010 against the company through their counsel, Mr. Adeleke, with the aim of securing the release of their fund with Central Bank of Nigeria which had been confiscated from Nospecto Oil and Gas Limited by SEC on behalf of the investors.
The matter which took just eight months to be decided by the tribunal went in favour of the investors, prompting the company to file appeal at the Court of Appeal.
Within fourt months, the Appeal Court, decided the matter and ruled in favour of the investors.
Dissatisfied by the Appeal Court’s ruling, Nospecto Oil and Gas Limited approached the Supreme Court in 2012, after hearing all parties in the suit, the apex court fixed June 11, 2021, to give its verdict.
Some of investors, according to their lawyer, have died, while some are on sick bed as a result of the shock the alleged seizure of their investment had brought upon them.