SEC probes alleged Afribank’s N280m unclaimed dividends scam

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) yesterday said it had commenced investigations into alleged N280 million unclaimed dividends fraud belonging to shareholders of former Afribank. According to the News Agency of Nigerian (NAN), Mr. Naif Abdussalam, SEC Head of Corporate Communications, said that the commission had received complaints of the N280 million fraud allegedly perpetuated by some registrars.

“We have received the Complaint and our investigation and complaint units are working on it,” he said. Abdussalam said that investigation into the alleged fraud would be concluded in a week’s time and the commission would make its findings public once the investigations were concluded. Some shareholders last weekend alleged fraudulent withdrawal of N280 million unclaimed dividend belonging to Afribank shareholders.

The shareholders, under the aegis of Progressive Shareholders Association of Nigeria (PSAN), made the allegations in a statement signed by the National Chairman, Mr Boniface Okezie.

The statement alleged that a company fraudulently withdrew the monies from unclaimed dividends belonging to shareholders of Afribank for the purpose of paying to the shareholders. It said that the funds were diverted into various accounts of fake shareholders.

“This is a fraud too many in the recent times rocking the capital market simultaneously. We therefore call on the authorities concerned to urgently arrest the trend before it consumes the entire market outfit.

“We demand that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as a matter of urgency to liaise with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to give directives to Nigeria Inter- Bank Settlement System to cooporate with the police to investigate the matter to give them the details of the transactions”.

The statement called on the commission to ensure that those involved in the fund were sanctioned by banning them from participating in any capital market activities henceforth and that all monies looted be must be recovered from culprits.

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