An Abuja magistrate court struck out the objections of BGL Plc and its staff to its trial in Abuja. According to Chief Magistrate, Chinyere Nweoachenu, the case is distinct from that filed for damages in a Federal High Court.
“This matter is a criminal one while the one before the Federal High Court is a civil case. Also, none of the cases in the Federal High Court are between same parties in this case.”
“In this case, the Commissioner of Police is a party, but he is not a party in the suit in the Federal High Court and the Court of Appeal.”
SEC in October last year, charged BGL and its senior executives before an Abuja Magistrate court on charges of criminal conspiracy, Breach of Trust and cheating contrary to Sections 96, 312, 322 and 323 of the Penal Code Law, Chapter 8.
The executives charged include the Group Managing Director (GMD) of the firm, Albert Okumagba and Deputy Managing Director (DMD) Chibundu Edozie.
BGL was accused by several individuals and bodies of refusing to liquidate their investments in the company’s Guaranteed Consolidated Notes and Guaranteed Premium Notes.
SEC subsequently referred the matter to its Administrative Proceedings Committee (APC).
As part of its recommendations, SEC placed a life ban on Mr. Albert Okumagba and Mr. Chibundu Edozie of BGL Group. They were also both banned from ever holding office in any public company in Nigeria.
SEC also canceled the licenses of Assets Management Limited and BGL Securities Limited.
SEC indicated that the companies and their officials breached extant capital market laws and rules that led to a loss of N5.77 billion to 32 innocent investors. The investors have since filed a civil suit against the company in a bid to recover the lost funds.