THE House of Representatives, on Wednesday, called on Federal Government to expedite action on the reconstitution of the Investment and Securities Tribunal, IST membership.
The House then mandated the committee on Capital Market and Institutions to liaise with the Federal Ministry of Finance and other relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs with a view to working out short term solutions that would enable the Investment and Securities Tribunal, IST function before the reconstitution of its membership.
The House resolution followed a motion moved by Hon. Yusuf Tajudeen entitled, “need for immediate reconstitution of the Investment and Securities Tribunal, IST”.
Hon. Tajudeen noted that, prior to the dissolution of the Tribunal, it had from inception in 2007 adjudicated on matters with a cumulative value of about N400 billion, which has gone a long way in stabilizing the market and the economy.
According to him, “the dissolution of Boards of Ministries, Departments and Agencies by the Federal Government on 16 July, 2015 through a circular from the office if the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, the Investment and Securities Tribunal has not been able to sit to adjudicate on issues that bother on the Capital Market”.
He however, said that, ”concerted efforts to make the Federal Government realise the strategic importance of the tribunal to the national economy, and therefore the need for reconstitution of its membership and reiterate its status as a civil court and not a board, has yielded no positive results”.
The lawmaker further expressed worry that, in the last eighteen months of the non-reconstitution of the Tribunal, the case docket has grown with about 51 pending cases.
Continued non-reconstitution of membership of the Tribunal, he said is grossly affecting the Tribunal’s role as the “Capital Market Adjudicator” through which disputes are resolved.
He added that, “Due to the unfortunate situation, while many litigants are getting restive and frustrated as they cannot find any lawful avenue to ventilate their grievances, some others are mooting the idea of self help, which is inimical to the health of the Capital Market and national economy.
“The federal government does not realise that for the Capital Market to play its role as an alternative source for long term capital amidst dwindling oil revenue and economic recession, there is urgent need to strengthen the IST”, he stated.
Citing example from other climes, he said that, “some countries in Europe, America, Asia and Africa have better developed markets because they have developed adjudicatory systems that are independent and operate with a measure of predictability and certainty”
Contributing to the motion, Hon. Oghene Egoh, Kayode Oladele and Abdulrazak Namdas maintained that the dissolution of the Tribunal was not in the interest of the country, stressing that the court was very important to the development of the stock exchange. The motion scaled through when the Speaker, Hon. Yakubu Dogara put the motion to voice vote.