The Board of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rose from a marathon meeting that lasted till late Monday night with a firm resolution directing its embattled Director General, Aruma Oteh, to immediately proceed on compulsory leave.
PREMIUM TIMES gathered that the meeting, which was characterised by stormy bouts of exchanges and deliberations on a variety of issues bordering on the management of the apex capital market regulatory agency, agreed that Ms. Oteh’s stepping aside would make for an unfettered investigation into several allegations against her management, particularly allegations of misappropriation of N3billion on the controversial Project 50 programme.
As part of the resolution, the Board appointed the most senior member, the Executive Commissioner (Operations), Ms. Daisy Ekineh, to take over as acting Director General and Chief Executive.
To enforce its decision, PREMIUM TIMES learnt that the Board last night conducted a clandestine operation at the office complex during which the locks to Ms Oteh’s office were changed, apparently to prevent her from gaining access.
It was gathered that Ms. Oteh was left stranded when she arrived this morning only to find that she would not be able to get into her office in the Central Business District, Abuja.
Angered by the action, it was gathered that the DG has already taken up the matter with superior authorities to challenge the Board’s decision, which she declares as a clever ploy by members to earn themselves an illegal tenure extension, as their term of office is officially expected to terminate in the next 72 hours on Friday.
The latest development is an indication that the festering crisis in the management of the capital market regulatory authority, which played out during the recent House of Representatives probe into the near collapse of the country’s capital market, is far from over.
The Board, which has Udoma Udo Udoma as Chairman, has eight others as executive and non-executive members, including Daisy Ekineh, as Executive Commissioner (Operations); Lawal Stores, as Executive Commissioner (Finance & Accounts); Charles A. Udora as Executive Commissioner (Legal & Enforcement).
The non-executive Commissioners include Yahaya Ali and Ronke Fatade as well as Daniel Kifasi representing the Federal Ministry of Finance and Christopher Chukwu, representing the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).