By Nkiruka Nnorom
CHAIRMAN of Investment and Securities Tribunal (IST), Mr. Isaiah Idoko-Akoh, has assured investors and other stakeholders in the nation’s securities market of speedy resolutions of disputes.
The IST was initially established under section 224 of the Investments and Securities Act (ISA) 1999 which has been repealed and replaced by the ISA 2007. It is an independent specialised civil court that operates a fast-track adjudicatory system with the mandate, among others, to provide accessible, affordable, timely as well as efficient means of settling/resolving disputes arising from transactions in the Nigerian capital market.
However, the IST was inactive for more than two years before the the federal government recently appointed new council members with Idoko-Akoh as chairman.
The IST began sitting two weeks ago, first in Abuja and then in Lagos last week to resolve disputes in the market.
Speaking during the sitting in Lagos, the IST chairman assured that priority would be given to investors’ interests, saying there won’t be the capital market if there are no investors.
“In the capital market, the interests of the investors are paramount. If they are not there, then there is no market. And one of the ways of keeping the interest of the investors is to have a good enforcement mechanism. Whatever infraction that may come up is addressed through a good enforcement mechanism and the IST knows that If everybody is happy, then the market will move on. The world now is global; Nigerian economy cannot exist without foreign element coming in to boost it and the foreigners cannot come in if they have no confidence that if they come in to invest, they will go back with good returns.
Therefore, in coming to invest, they need to see transparency in the market and good return on investment. If there is no transparency and good return, nobody will come and invest in our markets,” he said.
According to him, IST is there to put things properly and restore confidence among investors, adding that if investors have disputes in the market, the disputes should be resolved through the mechanism of the Tribunal.
He disclosed that members of the IST are working very hard to ensure that disputes are resolved within the three months stipulated by the law that established it.