18 July 2012

Nigeria: FG Recalls Oteh From Suspension, SEC Staff Protest Reinstatement

Photo: This Day
Arunmeh Oteh.

The Federal Government announced yesterday that it has recalled the suspended Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Ms. Arunma Oteh.

A circular signed by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Anyim Pius Anyim with reference number SGF.2/S.9/C.13/454 and dated 17/ July, 2012, noted that Oteh's recall came on the heels of the outcome of the findings of the external auditors employed to audit the commission's finances.

This is even as members of staff of the Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday barricaded the entrance of the commission's headquarters to prevent Ms. Arumah Oteh, from entering the building.

The protesting members vowed that "over their dead body" would she resume office.

Oteh who is the erstwhile Director General of the SEC had been sent on compulsory leave in June in the wake of an investigation into the near-collapse of the country's capital market launched by the House of Representatives.

Following Oteh's suspension, the commission's board had engaged the services of Price Water Coopers Limited, a famous audit firm to examine the records of the commission's transaction covering the SEC project 50 which Oteh had supervised.

A copy of the letter of Oteh's recall made available to State House Correspondents at the Presidential Villa stated that the audit firm has already given the embattled SEC DG a clean bill of health and absolved her of all accusations of fraud and criminal breaches, adding, however, that" some administrative lapses were reported, particularly in cases where Admnistrative procedures were not thoroughly observed".

The circular reads in part: "Please refer to the decision of the Board of Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to send you on compulsary leave in order to enable SEC's external auditors-the Price Water Coopers Limited (PWC), to examine the records of the Commission's transactions covering SEC project 50 which you supervised.

"I am to note that Government has studied the report submitted by the external auditors and you are neither indicted for fraud nor criminal breach in any form. However, some administrative lapses were reported, particularly, in cases where administrative procedures were not thoroughly observed.

"The purpose of this letter is to recall you from your leave and to caution that you must henceforth endeavour to diligently observe all extant rules and administrative procedures in the conduct of all official transactions."

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