SEC Enforces Closure of Illegal Capital Operator, Royal Benchmark

Further to its investor protection mandate as enshrined in the ISA 2007 and  in further demonstration of its avowed commitment to a zero tolerance policy for improper behavior in the Nigerian Capital Market, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), apex regulator of the Nigerian capital market, has shut down the operations and sealed – up the offices of Royal Benchmark Limited, an Ibadan, Oyo State – based unlicensed and illegal operator in the capital market.
This is happening only a few days after the SEC took a similar action against another illegal operator based simultaneously in Port Harcourt and Sokoto and on the heels of earlier enforcement actions taken in Lagos and Jos against unregistered and unlawful operators in the course of 2013.
The build up to the enforcement action against Benchmark Nigeria Limited happened by way of reports to the SEC by victims that one Ade Adesina who purported to be the Managing Director / CEO of Royal Benchmark Limited of No. 11, Ademiluyi Close by Bovas Filling Station, Kogi Street, Bodija, Ibadan, Oyo State was collecting monies in various sums from unsuspecting members of the public under the pretence that same monies were being invested in the Capital market
Subsequent thorough investigations conducted by the Commission showed that neither Ade Adesina nor Royal Benchmark Limited was registered to perform any function in the capital market. Their operations therefore ran counter to the prescriptions of the extant law governing operation in the capital market.
According to the DG of the SEC, Arunma Oteh,
“This string of closures by the Commission should send a strong, unequivocal message to illegal fund managers and sundry perpetrators of indiscipline and malfeasance in the capital markets that it is time they sought worthier endeavor. Illegal entities erode the integrity stock in our markets in addition to introducing hapless investor publics to the agony of loss of value. The SEC frowns severely at their existence”.
Apart from sealing up the offices of illegal operators, the Commission has also sanctioned various operators in the capital market.

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