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Oteh's Woes Far From Over, As Reps Insist On Sack Within 14 Days

Source: THEWILL. - thewillnigeria.com
EMBATTLED SEC DIRECTOR-GENERAL, MS ARUNMA OTEH.
EMBATTLED SEC DIRECTOR-GENERAL, MS ARUNMA OTEH.
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ABUJA, September 18, (THEWILL) – Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Ms. Arunma Oteh is still far from safety zone, as the Federal House of Representatives reconvened on Tuesday to issue a 14-day ultimatum within which President Goodluck Jonathan must effect her sack by implementing the resolutions of its investigation into the near-collapse of the Nigerian Capital Market.

The House, presided over by Deputy Speaker, Hon. Emeka Ihedioha threatened to cease according recognition to Oteh as DG of SEC, should the President fail to comply with the resolution within the stipulated two weeks.

The decision followed the unanimous adoption of a motion by Hon. Ossai Nicholas Ossai (PDP, Delta) titled ‘Need for Mr. President to Enforce the Resolution of the House of Representatives and on the Investigation into the Near-collapse of the Capital Market.’

In the motion, the lawmaker reminded his colleagues that the House, on 19th July 2012, had adopted the resolution on the investigation into the near-collapse of the capital market, which was conveyed to the Executive by the clerk of the National Assembly on 30th July 2012.

Ossai noted that amongst the issues in the resolution was the request for the termination of the appointment of Ms. Oteh for “being unqualified by the law to serve as the DG of SEC, for incompetence and inability to manage the commission, and for regulatory failures, which may lead to the collapse of the capital market, if unchecked.”

He expressed worries that in spite of this, the President recalled Oteh from suspension immediately the report of the ad hoc committee that indicted her was made public “in a flagrant contempt of the House of Representatives and the feelings of the Nigerian people and investors who lost money in the capital market.”

He lamented that even protest by staff of SEC against the recall of Oteh could not deter the President from going ahead with his decision.

“The President has repeatedly refused to implement important resolutions of the House, and [he] treats with contempt, important House resolutions that relate to the economic wellbeing, social harmony and political stability of Nigeria,” he added.

The motion was unanimously adopted and the House Committee on Legislative Compliance was directed to follow up with the resolution and brief the House within 14 days on the level of compliance.

Investigations into the state of the capital market, it would be recalled, assumed a controversial pitch right from its start, after Oteh accused chairman of the committee, Hon. Herman Hembe of demanding NN44m bribe from her, leading to the composition of an adhoc committee under the chairmanship of Hon. Ibrahim Tukur El-Sudi, which eventually came up with 38 recommendations out of which 34 were adopted while four were deferred.

Some of the adopted recommendations include: “...that SEC conclude disciplinary actions on all outstanding market infractions that have remained so for more than two months, and report back to the House within 30 days; that the engagement of Access Bank staff by SEC on secondment is unethical and may erode investor confidence and they should immediately be disengaged; that the Project 50 activities of SEC, which appears to lack transparency and accountability, be further investigated by the EFCC and Investment and Security Tribunal to ascertain whether infractions took place.”