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NO FINANCIAL OVERTURES HAVE EVER BEEN MADE TO HON. HEMBE BY MS. OTEH, DG SEC OR ANY STAFF OF SEC

By Obi Adindu
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The Securities and Exchange Commission welcomes the timely action of the House of Representatives under the leadership of Rt. Hon. Aminu Tambuwal in creating the Adhoc Committee to preside over the Public Hearing on the Nigerian Capital Market.

There is no doubt that the action of the House aligns with our position and the view widely held by most Nigerians that the Hearing had deviated from the course set for it by the House and degenerated instead to a hostile attack on the Securities and Exchange Commission, and its Director General, Ms. Arunma Oteh.

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.

We are grateful to the House of Representatives for this intervention which we believe will strengthen the Nigerian capital markets and enable it contribute to the realization of the economic aspirations of the Nigerian people.

Obi Adindu
Securities and Exchange Commission, Nigeria.
[email protected]

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