From Iheanacho Nwosu and Chuks Akunna, Abuja
The House of Representatives yesterday walked out officials of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), saying it will not go back on its vow not to deal with the leadership of Ms Arunma Oteh . The House Ad-hoc Committee on Capital Market that investigated the near collapse of the capital market had in its report, accused Director-General Oteh of violating some rules governing the organisation.
It specifically alleged that she was not qualified to head the establishment, and recommended that she should be relieved of her appointment. The lawmakers even passed a resolution based on a motion that it would no longer recognize her as the DG of the SEC and would not deal with the commission as long as she remains the boss of the federal agency. The Presidency has, however, refused to heed the resolution that the woman be sacked. However, the House yesterday provided an opportunity to put its words into action as it walked out a delegation of SEC who were supposed to be part of a meeting of the House Committee on Finance.
The session involved all the revenue generating agencies of government. Chairman of the committee , Hon. Abdulmumin Jibrin (Kano-PDP), asked the Chief Accountant of SEC and other senior staff of the commission, who came to represent the establishment at the meeting, to walk out. Jibrin said that the House has nothing to do with the organisation since the executive was yet to implement its resolution. Recall that shortly after the House had indicted the DG, she was sent on compulsory leave by the SEC board to enable the agency’s external auditors, the Price Water Coopers Limited (PWC), examine the records of the commission .
However, in what demonstrated a vote of confidence in the SEC boss and the comprehensive reforms she has spearheaded at the capital market, the Federal Ministry of Finance recalled her from compulsory leave after another audit report absolved her of fraud or crime in Project 50, a commemorative programme for capital market regulation.
Her recall also discountenanced the many false allegations of wrongdoing leveled against Oteh especially those that border on Project 50’s formal launch. But auditors discovered that the cost of the launch was about N155million and not the billions of naira, saying it was a most prudent budget by any standards.