Thursday 18 October 2012

Senators join Reps, insist Oteh must go

Embattled Director General of the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC), Ms. Arunma Oteh is now in for more trouble as the Senate has backed the House of Representatives in demanding that she be sacked.

The upper house yesterday said it will no longer recognise her as SEC boss and will not have anything to do with her as long as she remained at the helm of affairs at the commission.

The position of the Senate which was announced by the Senate Committee on Capital Market is coming on the heels of a recent resolution by the House demanding that President Goodluck Jonathan sacks Oteh following her indictment by the House for alleged abuses and incompetence in piloting the affairs of the commission.

However, following the failure of the President to sack her, the House later resolved not to recognise her nor have anything to do with her as long as she remained the head of the commission, a development the executive had also ignored.

With the resolution of the Senate committee which it made public in a statement yesterday, SEC risks not having its 2013 budget passed by the two chambers of the National Assembly unless the President appointed a new SEC DG as the legislature would not receive Oteh to defend the commission’s budget.

The Senate panel in the statement signed by its Chairman, Senator Ayoade Adeseun, expressed anger that instead of sacking Oteh, who was at the time suspended because of her indictment, the President rather reinstated her “in flagrant disregard of the resolution”.

Lamenting that the Presidency also ignored the decision of the House not to recognise Oteh the Senate panel submitted that it backed the House in order to ensure that a drastic step was taken to restore sanity in the commission.

The panel said the continuous stay of Oteh as the head of the commission despite her indictment will negatively affect the Capital Market and the nation’s economy generally.

It said it was worried that since Oteh was reinstated at SEC, there have been series of protests by workers who accuse her of abuses, sole administratorship, highhandedness and headlong drive for vengeance.

The statement reads in part: “Consequently, the Senate Committee on Capital Market at its meeting on 26th of September, 2012 considered these and other goings on at the commission, all of which could negatively affect the Nigeria Capital Market and came to the conclusion that of the trend is not arrested, the Nigeria Capital Market might be brought to its knees, with attendant deleterious effect on the economy of the country.

“The committee therefore resolved to support the position of the House of Representatives that the DG of SEC be removed forthwith. The committee also resolved to have nothing to do with Ms. Arunmah Oteh for as long as she remains at the helm of affairs at the Security and Exchange Commission.

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