NSE Crisis: Dangote Keeps Mum As Onyuike-Okereke Alleges Victimization

Source: SAINT MUGAGA - thewillnigeria.com

ABUJA, August 11, (THEWILL) - Former President of the Nigeria Stock Exchange (NSE), Alhaji Aliko Dangote Wednesday said it will be prejudicial for him to discuss the crisis rocking the Exchange since the matter is being investigated adding that he has been cautioned against making statements that may jeopardize the operations of the market.

But embattled former Director General of the NSE, Prof. Ndidi Okereke-Onyuike has alleged that her removal was politically motivated.

Both Dangote and Onyuike-Okereke spoke when they appeared before the House of Representatives Committee on Capital Market probing into the crisis that led to the removal of the two top officials of the Exchange and the allegations that trailed the action.

Although both former officials were ushered into the closed door meeting seperately, they were given a few minutes to make some remarks before the press were ordered to leave the hall for the behind the scene meeting.

Onyuike-Okereke who appeared before the committee at 2.00 pm said she was ready for any probe on her activities as the helmsperson of the NSE during her 8 years tenure as the Director General of the Nigeria Stock Exchange.

In her reaction to the allegations of fraud leveled against her, the former NSE boss said that contrary to erroneous perception from a section of the public, there was nothing wrong with the accounts of the NSE. "The account of the Nigeria stock exchange is still intact, the accounts of the stock exchange is very much in order".

She stressed, "I have worked there for 28 years and at no time has my integrity ever been put to question, I have been taught to be strait forward, honest and I have a lot of high integrity so I will not be associated with an institution that is riddled with fraud or where I will see something wrong and close my eyes," she said.

Onyuike-Okereke whose voice betrayed her emotions while making her remarks went spiritual alluding that "I will consider what they are saying in the papers as political, but I will avail members with the details later. But I would rather not destroy the Capital Market because of my personal selfish interest. I rather take any heat that comes to me rather than destroy the child that I have nurtured.

"I have been carrying the Nigerian Stock Exchange not only as DG but since I got back to Nigeria from the New York Stock Exchange where I had worked for 8 years. I have been in the Nigeria Stock Exchange for 27 and half years so the NSE is like my own child so I would rather not stay and do things that will put more heat in the market or destroy the institution of the Capital Market," she said.

Onyuike said she was a thoroughbred professional who did not engage in any other business such as contracts, adding that part of her training has nothing to do with stealing or appropriating what does not belong to her.

"I am honest to the teeth as far as honesty is concerned. I just want to allay the fears of the public that no money is missing in the Nigeria Stock Exchange and nobody including the shareholders have complained", the former NSE boss declared.

She promised to make herself available when invited by the National Assembly for any investigations. "After today I also want to make myself available anytime you want to ask me anything," she added.

Dangote who appeared at 4.00pm however refused to comment on the allegations he made against the former director general saying he would rather not speak because the matter was under investigation.

According to Dangote, "I know that I am supposed to bring a presentation and I will go and send the presentation. I don’t know at what point I should stop when I start since you want the press to excuse us so that we can have a close door session. There are a few things because you are our leaders, but already there is an investigation on the account of the stock exchange, I can discuss a few things but it will be very difficult in the presence of the press. Mr. Chairman I will stop here until you ask me to continue’.