7 January 2013

Nigeria: House - No Vendetta Against Sec

The House of Representatives has denied that its refusal to appropriate funds to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in the 2013 budget was an act of vendetta against its Director-General, Ms Arunma Oteh.

The position of the federal lawmakers was stated by the Deputy Chairman of the House Committee on Media, Hon. Afam Ogene, Sunday while speaking to journalists on the activities of the House in 2012.

The House, last year, had adopted a resolution demanding for Oteh's sack on the grounds she lacked the requisite qualifications to head the commission. But the House's resolution has so far been ignored by the presidency.

Ogene said it was laughable for anybody to suggest that the lower chamber of the National Assembly's decision against SEC was a vendetta against the Director-General of the institution as a result of the allegations of bribery she earlier levelled against Hon. Herman Hembe, the Chairman of the House Committee on Capital Market.

Ogene pointed out that the House had already initiated investigations into the activities of SEC before Oteh made her allegations against Hembe.

"This same House was already having a public hearing on SEC when Oteh made her allegations. That an issue arose midway during an investigation shouldn't abort a process that was already on-going.

"During this process, issues had been raised regarding Oteh's competence; regarding some resources of SEC that were paid into private accounts; issues bordering on corporate governance whereby staff were recruited from outside the system; and issues regarding indecorous working relationship with key commissioners in SEC.

"These issues were already on the front burner of the committee's discourse before Oteh made her allegations which up till now still remain mere allegations because the parties involved are still in court.

"So until Oteh proves her allegations, they remain mere allegations. So the above issues had been established long before Oteh made her allegations," he said.

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