SEC Fires Aliko Dangote, Okereke-Onyuike From Stock Exchange

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San Francisco, August 04, (THEWILL) – Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Dr. Ndi Okere-Onyuike and other council members of the Nigerian Stock Exchange have been sacked from their positions by the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) with immediate effect.

Until the big hammer fell today on the warring duo, Okereke-Onyuike, who was scheduled to retire later this year, was the Director General of the NSE while Dangote, who was elected President of NSE and other council members earlier had their election nullified by a Lagos High Court.

The Stock Exchange has been plagued by confidence crisis following Dangote’s petition a few days ago that the Exchange is broke with Okereke-Onyuike refuting the claim. The back and forth on the issue sent the fragile market south with more than N100 billion naira in losses in just two days of trading.

SEC in statement signed by its Assistant Director/Head Media, Mr Lanre Oloyi said it wielded the big stick following allegations of financial mismanagement, current litigations, lack of effective governance and inadequate oversight functions of the Exchange amongst other reasons.

"In following the developments, the Commission has at all times carefully deliberated on the implications and ramifications of a direct intervention in the affairs of the Exchange.

"In this deliberation, the Commission weighed the consequences on the market of a direct intervention set against the broader goal of safeguarding the interest of the public and protecting the investor," SEC said.

"The Current Director-General of the Exchange, Professor Ndi Okereke-Onyuike, is removed from the office of Director General/Chief Executive Officer of the NSE.

"Council member elected as President of the Exchange (Aliko Dangote) in defiance of the court order cease acting as the President pending the outcome of the ongoing litigation.

"Council members elected in defiance of the court order cease acting as members of the council pending the outcome of the ongoing litigation."

It said a new Interim administration would be announced before trading opens on Thursday.

"Given the gravity of the allegations around financial mismanagement of the Exchange, the commission has also directed the conduct of an independent investigation into the allegations.

"These actions by the Commission reinforce the integrity of our markets and demonstrate commitment to accountability, particularly given the importance of ensuring adequate oversight at all times and demonstrating that when there are shortcomings, as the apex regulator, the Securities and Exchange Commission will step in decisively to address these issues in the public interest and to protect the investors," the statement added.