Tribunal Boss urges Capacity Building for Lawyers, Litigants.
The Acting Chairman of the Investments and Securities Tribunal(IST) Hon Jude Udunni has advocated capacity building for lawyers and litigants to increase their knowledge of the capital market operations.
He said that poor knowledge of capital market operations were reasons many capital market cases in court are lost especially on technicalities.
Hon Jude I. Udunni who disclosed this in a chat with journalists in Abuja noted that the “capacity of litigants and counsels needed to developed because of the technicalities of the capital market.”
“lack of knowledge has led to litigants losing cases.” He urged “solicitors and litigants to up their games so that cases are won on merit not technicalities”, he said.
In order to address this inadequacy, Udunni said the tribunal “has tried to build the capacity of its users (litigants and counsels) as well as staff of the tribunal.”
According to him, Udunni the tribunal has held three sensitization programmes since 2017 even when it is not the duty of the tribunal to build capacity of litigants and counsels.
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He said staff of the tribunal are also not left out of the capacity inadequacy as they have enjoyed training both within and outside the country to boost their capacity, even as the tribunal transcribers are now trained outside the country.
Udunni also disclosed that the tribunal was in a fix on how to proceed with cases delayed by the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.
Under the enabling law, the tribunal is mandated to conduct its proceedings in such a manner as to avoid undue delays as such, the tribunal must dispose of any matter before it within three months from the date of the commencement of the hearing of the substantive action.”
But the lockdown brought on by COVID-19 he said has left the tribunal not just with a backlog of cases to adjudicate but also how to continue and conclude cases already begun giving the lapse in timeline to conclude such cases.
Hon. Jude Udunni said the tribunal is engaging with stakeholders to navigate safely out of the dilemma brought upon it by COVID-19.
He assured that IST is “poised to dispense judgement speedily. The Investments and Securities Tribunal is a specialized fast-track civil court with the mandate for the resolution of cases arising from investments and securities transactions, in a timely, transparent, efficient and cost-effective manner” he said.
He noted that “some cases in the regular courts which have been there for years could have been dispensed by the IST Administrative Proceedings Committee (APC)
Udunni listed the benefits of the IST over the years to include “its well-thought out judgments/decisions which have been able to establish necessary benchmarks for capital market operations, whilst entrenching a unique jurisprudence for the Nigerian Capital Market, by sanitizing the market, influence policies and engendering law reforms.”
The judgments he said “have not only had positive impacts on policies and reforms in the market but the IST model is today a template for Capital Market adjudication. This assertion has been variously validated by the affirmation of most of its judgments and rulings by the Appellate Courts.”