By Peter Egwuatu
A MAGISTRATE Court sitting in Lagos has sentenced one Mr. Attah John Akpan to 18 months imprisonment with hard labour for attempting to impersonate a capital market investor.
The 54-year old Akpan was apprehended at the offices of Central Securities Clearing System Plc (CSCS Plc) on 15 December 2014 during routine biometrics data capture exercise for investors as he attempted the crime. His plans were foiled by the vigilant team of the CSCS Customer Care Centre after which he was handed over to the Police and was subsequently charged to court.
In a ruling delivered by His Honour, Mr. L.A. Owolabi of Senior Magistrate Court, Tinubu Square, Marina, Lagos, Akpan was found guilty of a two-count charge for attempting to steal shares worth over N12,000,000.00 (twelve million naira) belonging to an investor (name withheld). The sentence takes effect from 2 October 2015.
CSCS had been prompted to consider and implement strident measures to stem incessant occurrences of identity theft in the capital market while upholding the company’s values of security, efficiency, confidentiality, uprightness, resourcefulness and excellence. One of such measures includes the launching of a central, robust and secure biometrics enrolment and verification solution in March, 2015.
The biometrics solution, which evolved through several stages of design, development, and testing, provides the capital market with the benefits of having a central database of all capital market investors and reinforce identity management across the market.
These laudable measures, which have been put in place will undoubtedly boost investors’ confidence in the market as well as result in considerable increase in public investments.