Arrogance, a lack of regard for constituted authority and financial recklessness eventually contributed to the suspension from office of the Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Ms. Arunma Oteh.
The embattled SEC DG was directed to proceed on compulsory leave at the end of its board meeting on Monday along with the cronies she brought into the commission after she was appointed.
The Post understands that the Board directed her to go on forced leave after admitting that she chaired the Project 50 Committee, and was the key person in the management and disbursement the accrued funds.
In her arrogance, Oteh, we gathered, shunned the committee that was constituted to probe the allegations surrounding the Project 50.
The Post understands that trouble started for Oteh following the board’s directive that the audit and finance committee investigate the project and report to the board in four weeks.
Accordingly, the committee invited to appear on March 9, 2012 meeting, but characteristically, she failed to appear but instead chose to bypass the committee and report to the Board. The committee was headed by Christopher Chukwu, representing the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), but she did not yield even when reminded of the board’s mandate to the committee and why it is appropriate for her to route her report through the committee.
“She made her oral presentation to the committee on March 23, 2012, but was again reminded to forward a written report to the Committee, and indeed promised to, but did comply, and even at the committee’s meeting of May 3 and 4, 2012, when she sent an e-mail to members of the committee saying she would not be available on 4th May,” one insider who did not want to be named told The Post.
Oteh, obviously seeing the handwriting on the wall, agreed to forward her written report as soon as possible, after her oral presentation of March 23, 2012.
The written report, The Post understands, was finally sent on May 22, 2012, following which the committee was unsatisfied with some of her responses and therefore raised further queries. The response was duly supplied two days later.
As a result of her uncooperative stance, the committee was unable to meet the four-week time frame for submission of its report
While considering the report, the board turned down the recommendation that key actors in the Project 50 be suspended, but instead ordered Oteh to go on compulsory leave to allow for an independent investigation, as recommended by the Committee.