By Modupe Gbadeyanka
The promoters of the Dantata Success and Profitable Company have been dragged before Justice Anwuri Ichegbuo Chikere of Federal High Court sitting in Abuja for investment fraud to the tune of N2 billion.
The suspects, Basira Ibrahim Dantata, Lawan Sanni and Gaji Ibrahim Dantata were arraigned by the federal government alongside the company.
They were accused of defrauding unsuspecting investors between 2018 and 2019 contrary to Section 54 of the Investments and Securities Act 2007 and punishable under the same section.
About 7,250 investors were said to have lost over N2 billion to the organisation and the promoters for subscribing and investing in an unregistered investment scheme created by Dantata Success.
Recall that in February 2019, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) sealed up the business premises of Dantata Success pursuant to its powers under Section 13 (w) of the Investments and Securities Act (ISA), 2007.
The agency accused the firm of engaging in illegal activities in the Nigerian capital market and then obtained court judgements to freeze the bank accounts of the company to preserve the funds of investors in line with Section 13 (x) of the ISA 2007.
According to SEC, Dantata Success was not registered or authorised to engage in any activity in the capital markets, however, it targeted and reached Nigerian investors through radio programs in the Kano area of Nigeria and collected large sums of money from investors under the guise of a “structured investment”.
The activities of the company, according to the agency, contravened the provisions of Section 38(1) and 67(1) of the Investments and Securities Act which respectively, prohibit unregistered and unauthorized entities/persons from operating any investment business or 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.
When the suspects were arraigned recently at the court, one of the defendants, Mr Gaji Ibrahim Dantata, was not available due to health reasons.
Justice Chikere thereafter adjourned the matter to November 5, 2020, for plea and motion filed by the defendants.
Meanwhile, members of the public have been advised 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.
According to the commission, information about entities registered and authorised to provide investment services in the country can be found on http://sec.gov.ng/cmos/.
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