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SEC Memos Prove Oteh Offered House Committee N30m

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SAN FRANCISCO, March 20, (THEWILL) – The documents attached below which were tendered before the House of Representatives Tuesday by Chairman of the House Committee on Capital Markets, Hon. Herman Hembe, clearly shows that embattled Director General of the Securities and Exchange (SEC), Ms. Arunma Oteh and SEC management initiated and offered the House Committee on Capital Markets the sum of N30, 000, 000 as ‘sponsorship’ for the public hearing on capital markets.

The sum according to the memo would cover the cost of live coverage which was put at N26, 203, 800, while Secretariat needs got N412, 500, 000.

Meanwhile, Oteh in a statement Tuesday by one of her aides tried to dismiss Hembe’s allegation that the offer to bank role the public hearing was an attempt to bribe the committee.

“We note the allegation made by Hon. Hembe on the floor of the House and on live television that it was Ms. Oteh who made financial overtures to him. We wish to state unequivocally that at no time and in no place did the SEC, Ms. Oteh offer Hon. Hembe any financial inducement.

Despite Hon. Hembe’s claims even as he said he had copies of internal memos, which he purportedly obtained from the SEC, however Ms. Oteh did not issue or cause to be issued any correspondence to Hon. Hembe, which offered him financial gratification.

We confirm that the SEC received a document in respect of the public hearing with a list of items with cost implications totaling N39, 844,490.00.

The correspondences which the Director General sent to Hon. Hembe comprised a letter dated 5th March 2012 which expressed her support for the Public Hearing in line with the SEC’s role as the apex regulator of the Nigerian capital markets and a cover letter for SEC’s submissions to the Public

Hearing dated 12TH March 2012. She had hoped that the Hearing would offer a platform for an objective examination of the market with a view to identifying the factors militating against its full recovery. She had expected that the outcome of the Hearing would facilitate realization of the SEC’s vision of a world class capital market that constitutes the engine room for our country’s rapid socio economic growth and development.

It is sad that a genuine act of support to the process of fair and transparent review of our capital market has been twisted into something reprehensible. We totally disagree with the claim that we tried to financially induce or influence Hon. Hembe or anyone else. It goes against everything that the Director General stands for and has been known for, internationally and locally, by those who have known her in her professional career of over 25 years,” Obi Adindu stated.