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Q
Is there any similar Tribunal in the financial markets outside Nigeria
AYes. There are various markets abroad that implement similar Tribunals. The Financial Services and Markets Tribunal (FSMT) of the United Kingdom, the Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT) of India and the Hong Kong Market Misconduct Tribunal (MMT) are examples amongst others.

Q
How is the Tribunal’s operation different from that of a traditional High Court?
AThe Tribunal combines the rule of law applicable in traditional law courts with the responsiveness, flexibility, speed and cost effectiveness associated with specialized courts and alternative disputes resolution (ADR) systems. The Tribunal has specialized knowledge of the capital market/securities and pension’s law and operations due to the varied technical and operational skills of its members and staff which it applies in deciding each case brought before it.
The Tribunal has a Technical & Operations Department and a Legal Services Department responsible for world-class technical and legal research support services in addition to other external expert advice obtained as the need arises. The Tribunal is not bound strictly by the rules of evidence applicable in traditional courts.
Another fundamental difference between the Tribunal and other traditional law courts is that each party could represent himself or appoint a representative who may not be a legal practitioner.
Procedure before the Tribunal is regulated by the Investments and Securities Act, 1999 (now ISA 2007) and the Tribunal’s Rules of Procedure.

Q
What are the Powers of the Tribunal?
AThe Act empowers the Tribunal, among others, to:

  • Summon and enforce the attendance of any person and examine him on oath;
  • Examine persons on oath;
  • Require the discovery and production of documents;
  • Dismiss an application for default;
  • Decide matters ex-parte;
  • Do anything, which in the opinion of the Tribunal is incidental or ancillary to its functions under the Act;
  • Review its decisions;
  • Recieve evidence on affidavits;
  • Call for examination of witness or documents; and
  • Set aside any order or dismissal of any application for default or any order made by it ex-parte.
Q
What types of cases does the Investments and Securities Tribunal deal with?
AThe Tribunal is empowered to hear all civil disputes in the capital market. These disputes may be between participants; investors, self-regulatory organizations and operators as well as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) the apex regulator in the capital market.

Its jurisdiction includes:

  1. Capital Disputes
  • All disputes and controversies arising under the Investments and Securities Act 2007 (ISA 2007) and the rules made there under;
  • Interpretation of ANY LAW or REGULATION to which the ISA applies;
  • Disputes between the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and any Exchange;
  • Disputes between capital market operators and any exchange;
  • Disputes between capital market operators;
  • Disputes between capital market operators and their clients; and
  • Disputes between quoted companies and the regulators.

Examples of Capital Market Cases that may be brought before the IST include:

  1. Misappropriation of clients’ funds by a stockbroker,
  2. Non-remittance of issue proceeds by an Issuing House to the issuer/company,
  3. Non-remittance of dividends by a Registrar/ Public company/ Stockbroker,
  4. Late transfer and/or registration of shares/ stocks by any stockbroker,
  5. Disputes over mergers and acquisition between the shareholders and the public quoted company, self regulatory authority, the SEC etc,
  6. Disputes between operators and any SRO in the market (e.g.: stockbrokerage firm and a stock exchange and dispute between a registrar and exchange) etc;
  7. Disputes arising from the rules, regulations and such other guidelines made by the SEC, any securities exchange,
  8. Dispute arising from any decision, notice and/or decision issued by the SEC,
  9. Appeals against disciplinary measures by SEC, like suspension and/or baring participants from the market;
  10. Appeals against delisting of any security or company by an Exchange; and
  11. Disputes/claims arising from misrepresentations or false statements in offer documents or in a Securities transaction.
Q
Who can come before the Tribunal?
AIn the Capital Market:

  • Investors in the capital market
  • Public companies
  • Capital Market Operators
  • SROs(stock exchanges, etc.); and
  • Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC).
Q
What is the objective of the Tribunal?
AThe Tribunal has, as its primary objective, the timely and efficient resolution of investments/capital market disputes with fairness, flexibility and transparency. It aims at being a world-class financial markets tribunal that dispenses justice to all participants without fear or favour.

Q
What is the Investments and Securities Tribunal?
AThe Investments and Securities Tribunal (IST) was established under Section 274 of ISA 2007. It was duly constituted with the approval of the President and inaugurated by the Honorable Minister of Finance on the 19th of December 2002. It is a dedicated, specialized and fast-track civil court for the resolution of disputes arising from Investments and Securities Transactions in an accessible, flexible and cost-effective, as well as efficient and transparent manner. The ISA 2007 stipulates that all matters before the Tribunal are to be dispensed with within 90 days and its awards or judgments shall be enforced as judgments of the Federal High Court and appeals lie directly to the Court of Appeal.