Barely two years after his appointment, President Muhammadu Buhari at the weekend sacked Chairman, Investment and Securities Tribunal (IST), Mr. Siaka Isiah Idoko-Akoh. A senior official of the tribunal, Mr. J. I. Udunni, has been appointed to replace him.
Idoko-Akoh’s disengagement came via a circular signed by the Permanent Secretary Federal Ministry of Finance, Dr. Mahmoud Isa-Dutse.
It read: “I write to convey the approval of Mr. President for your removal from office as the Chairman of the Investment and Securities Tribunal (IST) with immediate effect. Accordingly, you are required to hand over the office of the Chairman including all property(ies) of the IST in your custody to Mr. J. I. Udunni, a full time member of the Tribunal, who by this same letter from the State House has been appointed as Acting Chairman of the IST,” the memo said.
Though the reason for Idoko-Akoh’s was not officially ascertained, Sunday Sun gathered that the man had squabbles with workers on many occasions bothering on emolument payment.
Already, the Amalgamated Union of Public Corporations Civil Service Technical and Recreational Services Employees (AUPCTRE) hailed President Muhammadu Buhari for his removal as IST Chairman. The Chairman FCT Council, Comrade Aliyu Maradun and Ag. Secretary FCT Council, Comrade Adebanjo Jubril of AUPCTRE, one of the affiliate unions of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), at a joint briefing yesterday in Abuja said the suspended IST Chairman vehemently oppose the progress and actualization of the mandate given by President Mohammed Buhari, on IST and its workers.
“It is very unfortunate that the Chairman, Investment and Securities Tribunal (IST) Mr. Isiah Idoko-Akoh, unilaterally handled IST as if it is his own personal private property without recourse to Civil/ Public Service Rules and Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria. “The struggle for emancipation of worker and revival of IST became pertinent, when the union discovered that the Tribunal is on the verge of being collapsed by the former Chairman, due to his high-handedness, maladministration and high level of corruption in which the union petitioned ICPC, EFCC and Presidential Initiative on Continuous Audit (PICA) for investigation and prosecution,” Maradun said. While commending President Muhammadu Buhari for the action taking on the IST, Maradun also commended the Minister of Labour, Employment and Productivity, Dr. Chris Ngige; Minister of Finance, Hajia Zainab Ahmed; Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, and the securities agencies who acted accordingly to save the IST from collapse. He said the union engaged the former Chairman at different fora with a view of avoid the Tribunal from losing its competence and capability in adjudicating over millions of investors’ cases, as his integrity is in doubt.
“The struggle led to three picketing at the IST premises in order to draw government attention and relevant stake-holders. The AUPCTRE would always remain committed to Mr. President anti-corruption war and the struggle for the betterment of members who are workers in various institutions of government,” he added
Idoko-Akoh was appointed Chairman of IST on August 1, 2017.
Apart from him, nine other members were appointed into the IST as full and part-time members respectively.
Full time members are Mr Jude Udunni, Mr Nosa Osemwengie, Mr Abubakar Ahmed and Mr Albert Otesile.
Part-time members include Mr Emeka Madubuike, Mr Kasumi Garba Kurfi, Mr Edward Ajayi, Mr Onyemachi Elujekor and Mr Mamman Bukar Zargana.
Idoko-Akoh, a native of Kogi State is a lawyer and worked with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC Nigeria), where he served as Director before retiring in 2006.
The Investments and Securities Tribunal (IST) is an independent specialized judicial body, originally established under Section 224 of the now repealed Investments and Securities Act (ISA) No. 45 of 1999, but currently having its enabling statutory provision under Section 274 of the Investments and Securities Act No. 29 of 2007.
It is vested with the onerous responsibility of interpreting the ISA and adjudicating on disputes and controversies in capital market transactions.
As a Tribunal, the IST combines the rule of law applicable in traditional law courts with the responsiveness, flexibility, speed and cost effectiveness associated with specialized courts and alternative disputes resolution (ADR) systems.
The Tribunal has specialized knowledge of the capital market/securities and pension’s law and operations due to the varied technical and operational skills of its members and staff which it applies in deciding each case brought before it.