Business - News - February 18, 2021

Alleged N2bn investment fraud: Gaji Dantata absence stalls continuation of court hearing

The continuation of hearing by the Federal High Court, Abuja in the case between the Federal Government and Dantata Success and Profitable Company along with four others was stalled on Wednesday as one of the principal accused, Gaji Ibrahim Dantata, failed to show up.
Consequently, the court presided by Justice A. I Chikere adjourned sitting to April 15, 2021.
Profitable Company and its promoters were last year charged before the Federal High Court in Abuja for engaging in investment fraud amounting to over N2billion.
Those charged along with the company were Basira Ibrahim Dantata, Lawan Sanni and Gaji Ibrahim Dantata.
The accused who were arraigned before at Federal High Court 3, were alleged to have engaged in the crime between 2018 and 2019 within the jurisdiction of the court with intent to defraud by deceiving about 7,250 investing public to subscribe and invest in an unregistered investment scheme.
The charge against them read in court said they committed the offence contrary to Section 54 of the Investments and Securities Act 2007 and punishable under same section.
When the matter came up fir hearing in court on Wednesday, one of the principal accused, Gaji Ibrahim Dantata was not available allegedly due to health reasons.
Justice Chikere thereby adjourned the matter to April 15, 2021 for plea and motion filed by counsel to the accused who have since pleaded not guilty.
On February 6, 2019, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) pursuant to its powers under Section 13 (w) of the Investments and Securities Act (ISA), 2007, sealed up the business premises of Dantata Success & Profitable Company (DSPC). The Commission accused the company of engaging in illegal activities in the Nigerian capital market.
To enforce its rules, the Commission obtained court orders to freeze the bank accounts of the company to preserve the funds of investors in line with Section 13 (x) of the ISA 2007.
SEC said despite the company not registered or authorized to engage in any activity in the capital markets, it targeted at and reached Nigerian investors through radio programmes in the Kano area.
As a result, the Commission said the company and its promoters collected large sums of money from investors under the guise of a “structured investment”.
The illegal activities of the company, SEC said, contravened the provisions of Section 38(1) and 67(1) of the Investments and Securities Act which respectively, prohibiting unregistered and unauthorized entities/persons from operating any investment business,
The provisions also prohibited unregistered operators from making any invitation to the public to acquire or dispose of any securities of a body corporate or to deposit money with anybody corporate for a fixed period or payable at call.
The Commission also issued a warning to the public that Dantata Success & Profitable Company and any individuals representing them are not registered and therefore not entitled to provide investment advisory or services in Nigeria.
The Commission further warned the public to exercise utmost caution before deciding to subscribe to investment schemes and to always confirm the registration status of any company or individual and the products they are offering before entering into any transaction with them.

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