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Investors drag FG to court over Unclaimed Dividends

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Smart shareholders of companies listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), under the aegis of Palm Wealth Shareholders Association (PWSA), have instituted a case against the government at Federal High Court of Nigeria, Abeokuta Division, Ogun State.

The Finance Act 2020, signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari last month provides that any unclaimed dividends of a public limited liability company quoted on the NSE and any unutilised amounts in a dormant bank account maintained in or by a deposit money bank which has remained unclaimed or unutilised for a period of not less than six years from the date of declaring the dividend or domiciling the funds in a bank account shall be transferred immediately to Unclaimed Funds Trust Fund.

However, PWSA has gone to the Federal High Court of Nigeria, Abeokuta Division to stop the government from transferring the unclaimed dividends to the proposed trust fund. The President of PWSA, Mr. Simon Emokeraro, said in a statement that the case with Suit No. FHC/AB/FHR/14/2021, which has the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning and Accountant General of the Federation as parties, would be heard on February 25, 2021.

The shareholders are arguing that attempting to have access to peoples fund without due consultation amounts to official error that should not be allowed to stand for posterity sake.

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