The director-general of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Ms. Arunma Oteh, has been sent on compulsory leave.
Though details of Oteh’s suspension were sketchy at press time, LEADERSHIP gathered that, the DG’S suspension was based on her alleged financial mismanagement of the Commission’s funds.
LEADERSHIP gathered that, the decision to suspend Oteh, was taken by the Udo Udoma-led board of SEC after a long meeting that ended at about 9pm.
The board found the DG SEC guilty of gross mismanagement of funds in the Project 50 of the commission. The Project 50 is a programme to mark 50 years of SEC in Nigeria.
Oteh was also found guilty of overstaying in one of the highbrow hotels in Abuja for up to eight months against the commission’s policy.
The SEC board further asked Oteh to hand over to the most senior executive commissioner, Daisy Ekineh and directed that a forensic audit should be carried out on the commission’s finances
The travails of Oteh began when Hon. Herman Hembe –led House of Representatives Committee on near collapse of Capital Market accused her of mismanaging the commission and embarking on limitless spending.
But Oteh fired back and accused Hembe of demanding bribe from her.
She further claimed that the lawmakers were furious at her because she turned down the request of Hembe for a N44million tip.
Oteh said the lawmaker first asked for N39 million to defray the cost of the ongoing public hearing, and when she denied, the chairman asked for N5million.
According to her the development was in addition to the commission sponsoring a foreign trip for members of the committee, and paying them estacodes.
She questioned the credibility of the Chairman of the committee in conducting the probe, considering her allegations.
She also described the probe as a ‘Kangaroo court’, and likened the probe to an era of former Uganda leader, Idi Amin, saying “not even during the Idi Amin regime, did we have this kind of session.”
In his response, Hembe noted all the allegations listed by the SEC and subjected himself and the committee to another probe which he ordered the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to take up.