Coalition of Civil Society Organisations for Justice & Equity, CCOJE, has called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to beam its searchlight on the activities of the Investments and Securities Tribunal, IST with a view to investigating the alleged corruption and other atrocities of staff members of the Tribunal between 2016 and 2017.
Similarly, the organizations urged the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed to personally, without relying on civil servants in the ministry, look into the issues at the IST, especially by listening to the staffs’ agitation and the response of management in order to salvage the situation.
Investments and Securities Tribunal is a federal government agency under the supervision of the Ministry of Finance with the responsibility to judicially resolve any issue of dispute arising from Nigeria’s capital market and related matters with a view to making the investors have confidence in the capital market with the overall interest of creating more jobs with robust economy for the country.
Speaking with journalists, yesterday in Abuja, the Chief Convener of the organisations, Comrade Olayemi Success, said the staff under the auspices of Amalgamated Union of Public Cooperation Civil Service Technical and Recreation Employees, AUPCTRE, “protested against the management and Tribunal some months ago with continuous threat of strike action since then just to halt the activities of the Tribunal”.
Olayemi explained that in view of the organisations, the scheming of the union “is to sabotage and undermine the federal government’s efforts of building a veritable capital market and entrenching a sustainable and vibrant Investments and Securities Tribunal that stand the test of time and give enough confidence to the investors on our capital market”.
“Our investigation revealed that the agitations of the staff under the auspices of AUPCTRE, IST chapter are deliberate attempt to cover up some of the atrocities committed in the past.
“You can imagine a situation where staffs decided to remove 10℅ of any money that comes to IST and keep it in staff co-operative society account, when we all know that co-operative society is personal and voluntary.
‘A situation where money are paid from government’s account without voucher on frivolous claims, a situation where contracts are awarded and fully paid for without execution, these and many more are the bizarre state of the Tribunal and any attempt to demand for explanation or clarification is what the AUPCTRE IST chapter call high-handedness by the new management/Tribunal”, he stressed.
Olayemi further alleged that “these staffs seems to have their collaborators in the supervising ministry, as the new Tribunal is not enjoying the much needed cooperation in the ministry to rescue the situation and bring the perpetrators to book”.
He said before the inauguration of the current Tribunal on September 19, 2017, it was inactive for almost two years due to the dissolution of the previous management without immediate replacement.
“Obviously, this period has made the staffs to grow wild in corruption, lack of transparency, lateness to work, abandoning of duty post without permission, and siphoning government’s funds, the status quo they want to maintain even after the inauguration of new Tribunal that are ready to work and pursue the vision of the Tribunal”, the organisations added.