At the session of the House of Reps Committee probing the near collapse of Nigeria’s capital market, a number of revelations were made on Tuesday as the former Director General of the Nigerian Stock Exchange; Professor Ndidi Onyiuke-Okereke made a presentation before the committee.
Tuesday’s sitting started with a note of warning from the Chairman who pointed out that “no Nigerian, no matter how powerful has the right to undermine due process of the law or the integrity of the National Assembly”. The statement came on the heels of the failure of the Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to appear before the Committee. The DG, Arumeh Oteh was thereafter summoned to appear before the Committee on Wednesday. She had written to inform the Committee that she would prefer to respond to any further question they might want to ask her via writing.
While making her presentation, Prof Okereke, the former DG of the Stock Exchange disclosed that the Securities and Exchange Commission collects 0.3 percent of the amount traded in the capital market.
She also noted that the SEC is yet to obey the court that quashed her removal as the DG of the Nigerian Stock Exchange and granted her damages to the tune of N 500 million.
In her presentation, Prof Onyiuke-Okereke also blamed the Central Bank and the SEC for their failure to provide guidelines for margin loans as she stated that “It was margin loans that led to the collapse of the Nigerian Stock Exchange, nothing more”.
She also alleged that SEC collected money illegally from the Stock Exchange and market brokers in order to fund its regulatory activities.
Another atrocity she linked to SEC was the burgling of her office at night and the carting away of her personal documents, including birth and marriage certificates.
While responding to allegations made by the SEC DG, Dr. Otteh, that the NSE expended hundreds of millions on wristwatches and yachts, Prof Onyiuke-Okereke pointed out that it is unfair for the SEC to accuse the Nigerian Stock Exchange of mismanaging resources when it (SEC) was one of the beneficiaries.
Questions were also asked on the fundraising dinner she coordinated for President Barrack Obama during his electioneering campaign. The former DG of the NSE denied raising money for the American elections. She said all she did was create awareness for his election as the first black man who could get to rule the United States.
She stated that the American President once queued to take a picture with her, when he had spent just about eight months as a senator. .
She further stated that the Economic and Financial crimes Commission (EFCC) had investigated into the fateful dinner and found her not culpable.
The sitting continues on Wednesday.