The controversy over the leadership of the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) has showed no sign of abating as staff of the commission yesterday warned Ms Arumah Oteh, who is on compulsory leave over graft allegation to stop being desperate to hanging on as its director general.
Ms Oteh attended the National Economic Management on Tuesday chaired by President Goodluck Jonathan. The SEC board, then chaired by Senator Udo Udomah, had ordered her to embark on compulsory leave to pave way for the investigations of graft allegation running into billions of naira on the SEC@50 project, which took place last year.
The board's five year tenure expired a week after the order and the federal government appointed Mr. Ibrahim Bolaji Bello to act as director general while investigations by the Pricewaterhousecoopers last. It was given three weeks to finish its assignment which has not lapsed.
Tuesday's attendance of the Economic Management Team meeting by Oteh marked the second time she was doing so after her suspension.
However, finance minister, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala had told newsmen on Tuesday after the EMT meeting that Arumah Oteh's attendance was in order as she has not been proven guilty. But that explanation doesn't hold water according to the staff of the commission.
Chairman of the SEC staff union, Barrister Muhammed Salihu told newsmen in Abuja that Oteh's continued attendance of the National Economic Management sends negative signals to the investing public in the nation's stock market. He said "although, the investments and Security Act, 2007 is silent on what should happen if a DG is asked to proceed on compulsory leave, the dictates of good governance demand that such a person should refrain from acting in the capacity of DG pending the determination of investigation and by implication should not be engaged in official functions of the commission."
Muhammad who is a manager in the Security and Investment Department at SEC, addressed a press conference in company of other executive members of the union.
He maintained that, "the representation of Aruma Oteh at the meeting of Economic Management Team is therefore a total disregard of due process and rule of law capable of sending mixed signals to the market which may negatively affect it, especially international investors.'
The SEC staff further warned that given that the capital market is dynamic and information driven, "only someone in that position can better serve the purpose of the Economic Management Team.'