The Investments and Securities Tribunal (IST) is an independent specialized judicial body, originally established under section 274 of the Investments and Securities Act No. 29 of 2007. It has jurisdiction, original and appellate, to interpret and adjudicate on all capital market and investments civil disputes as specified under the Investments and Securities Act No. 29 of 2007.
Section 274 of ISA 2007 states that:
“There is established a body to be known as the Investments and Securities Tribunal (in this Act referred to as ‘the Tribunal’) to exercise the jurisdiction, powers and authority of the Tribunal Conferred on it by or under this Act”.
The IST is vested with the onerous responsibility of interpreting the ISA and adjudicating on disputes and controversies in capital market transactions.
The concept of IST, though novel, is not peculiar to Nigeria. In the U.K., there is the Financial Services and Market Tribunal (FSMT), in India, the Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT), and the Hong Kong Market Misconduct Tribunal (MMT) amongst others.
It is however, pertinent to note that the Tribunal is the first and only one of its kind in Africa
The Tribunal combines the rule of law applicable in traditional law courts with the responsiveness, flexibility, speed and cost effectiveness associated with the specialized courts and alternative dispute resolution (ADR) systems. The Tribunal has specialized knowledge of the capital market/securities 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.