N44m bribe: EFCC, ICPC to investigate DG SEC, committee chair | Welcome to Linda Ikeji's Blog

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Monday, 19 March 2012

N44m bribe: EFCC, ICPC to investigate DG SEC, committee chair

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission on Friday accepted the open invitation of the House Committee on Capital Market and other Institutions to probe the N44m bribe allegation made against it by the Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Ms. Arunma Oteh.

On Thursday during a House of Representatives hearing on the Nigerian Capital Market, Oteh had told a stunned audience that the committee demanded gratification in the days preceding the hearing.
Oteh had said that the committee demanded N39m from SEC to fund the hearing and that the chairman of the committee, Mr. Herman Hembe, had asked for N5m from her 24 hours before the hearing.
“In asking the SEC to contribute N39m for this public hearing, don’t you think that you are undermining your capacity to carry out your duties?” she asked.

Oteh, who said that she turned down both requests, further alleged that SEC sponsored Hembe on a purported trip to the Dominican Republic to attend a conference on capital market operations in 2011.
Immediately the SEC boss finished speaking, Hembe who described allegations as being ‘aimed at derailing the objective of the hearing,’ called on the EFCC and ICPC to launch an investigation into them.
Both agencies told SUNDAY PUNCH that they were ready to investigate the bribery allegation to get to the root of the matter.
A very reliable source at the EFCC told our correspondent that the agency received open invitations.
The source, who pleaded anonymity because she was not authorised to speak on the matter, said, “Both the accused (Hembe) and the accuser (Arunma) have to tell us everything they know about the allegation with proofs to substantiate their claims.
“If the DG says Hembe demanded bribe from her, she has to show proof. She also has to prove that the committee demanded the sum of N39m; these are very grave allegations. Also the committee and its chairman have to respond to whatever documents or statements Ms. Arunmah makes.
“This calls for a substantial enquiry and they will be hearing from us soon.”
The source however declined to comment on how soon both parties will receive their letters of invitation.
“It is something we must do. It was broadcast live on television and everyone heard the chairman invite us. It is a call to duty,” she added.
When contacted, EFCC’s Acting Head, Media & Publicity, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, said, “We are following the development at the public hearing and we are going to look into the issues raised in respect of those allegations of bribery.”
Also speaking on its role in the investigations, ICPC’s Resident Media Consultant, Mr. Folu Olamiti, told SUNDAY PUNCH that the anti-graft agency would also be demanding a copy of the committee report.
Olamiti said the report would help the agency’s investigations.
“We are going to ask for the full report. Also, we are going to demand a written invitation from the chairman. What he said was a verbal invitation that was broadcast but we are going to ask for more and take it up from there.”
Meanwhile, sources close to the SEC DG told our correspondent on Friday night that moves were being made by some stakeholders to end the rift between Arunma and the committee.
“We need to protect the capital market at this crucial time. We are receiving calls from all over the world and that is not good for the integrity of the house. We are not going to engage in a verbal war because stakeholders are already holding talks on how to have a peaceful resolution. But let’s wait and see what Tuesday will hold.”
A cross-section of lawmakers however told our correspondent in Abuja that the ICPC and EFCC would have to step into the matter because the allegations were too grave.

Investigations by SUNDAY PUNCH showed that Oteh’s allegations threw the House off balance, forcing the leadership to convene a series of meetings from Thursday night.
One account claimed that Hembe was invited to one of the meetings to hear his account of what exactly transpired at the committee’s sittings.

But, when contacted, the House Deputy Leader, Mr. Leo Ogor, denied that the leadership met over the altercations between Oteh and Hembe.
When asked what would become of the probe, Ogor said that it would continue on Tuesday but added that he was not sure of the direction it would take.

According to him, the investigation was a product of a resolution of the House, which could only be halted by another resolution of the House in plenary.
He added, “The probe will certainly go on; whatever happened on Thursday did not change the original course of the investigation.
“The House is looking for how to resolve the challenges in the capital market; so, any personal issues between two people at the hearing did not alter the intention of the probe.”

When asked whether there was a possibility of the House advising Hembe to step aside, Ogor responded, “I can’t say so; I think it is the speaker’s decision to make. By Tuesday, the picture will become clearer.”
Findings indicated that an option of halting the probe was allegedly canvassed at one of the meetings, but it was discarded because members argued that such a step would be giving credence to Oteh’s allegations.
Another influential member of the House informed SUNDAY PUNCH that by the rules of the House, no actions could be taken on the matter before Tuesday.

The Chairman of the House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Mr. Zakari Mohammed, said that the House would not give any position on the matter before Tuesday.
Mohammed confirmed that the leadership was looking into the Oteh-Hembe clash and would find an “amicable solution to it by Tuesday.”

“We won’t stop the probe; on Tuesday, this issue will be thrashed out in the plenary; what I cannot say is whether the same people presiding over the probe will continue”, he added.
In line with the tradition of the House in tackling such matters, its Committee on Ethics and Privileges might be mandated to investigate Oteh’s bribery allegations as a separate matter, while the probe would continue.

Culled from Punch

46 comments:

Unknown said...

"Every day for the thief, one day for the owner" "E F See See,"...Hum!

Anonymous said...

After all said and done. Both thieves will get away with it. What is new.

bluemagic said...

Na una go thief,Na una go still kal EFCC...madt pple,kalin dese figures as if its small mney

Ada said...

And the REAL truth like I said shall come out. I know Ms Oteh, she's not one to talk without having the evidence to show. Herman Hembe just stepped on the tail of the wrong lion, he better come correct, not with the lousy effort he showed everyone on national TV.

Thats the problem with Nigeria, you appoint someone to do work, they do the work, and because it blocks you from chopping, you now try to get personal. Mark my words, Arunma Oteh shall win this showdown! Lets go!

TruSon said...

Ngwanu, oya whistle to our malnourished local bingo to come out and bark & dance for us like a rottweiler. E-F-See-See clap for yourselves. Weldone!

Atobatele said...

finger crossed...

Nkechi said...

This just shows why the ICPC will always remain at the back burner and EFCC at the fore-front. They are really silly, ass-licking rats. The chairman made an open invitation to be investigated due to accusations leveled against him and they are still waiting for a formal invitation. If they were an organization really bent on tackling corrupt practices, they shld have sprung into action immediately but they r just buying time for the committee so this issue will be settled amicably, thus swept under the rug.

bb said...

I pray 'JUSTICE' wl take its 'FULL' place ere, cos ds Naija ehn! Na only God fit save us. God pls strengthen our leaders 2lead us right,IJN,Amen.

Anonymous said...

These one na real kparaawo!!

VANESSA OBIOHA said...

Another comedy- action movie. No actor, no boss...*crossingmylegsnsmh*

VANESSA OBIOHA said...

Another comedy- action movie. No actor, no boss...*crossingmylegsnsmh*

BLOGLORD said...

pot calling kettle black. they have started exposing themselves at the end of d day the case will be closed let all thieves enjoy their loot. mscheww!

Anonymous said...

We have been hearing all this probe tin 4 yrs.abeg abeg make i hear word beko

Rickyn0va said...

All this women sef, is it dat d men are saints or d women jst dnt knw hw to 'keep' d money

Anonymous said...

What!!!

EVEN GOD DEY LAFF said...

GOD this woman get mind o.she no send any body at all

Sam Oracle said...

same old story

Nonso Obi said...

This is a case of Fela's "you be thief, I no be thief. You be robber, I no be robber. You be armed robber, I no be armed robber"...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BPIZBcb6hQI&feature=share

Nonso Obi said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BPIZBcb6hQI&feature=share

Anonymous said...

efcc should siddon one corner jor and stop deceiving us nonsense after all they would free them

Anonymous said...

I feel sick each time a woman is accused of stealing. It's just a feeling of hopelessness. What happened to the spirit of African-woman. She stands for what is right even when it's gonna cost her...... I know she'll soon be declared innocent when guilty. But I pity her for she has lost.

Chikaka said...

I wonder how she will get over this? Whoever is after her, is sure out to get her off that seat.

Anonymous said...

where are investigating why waste tax payers money on this rubbish we all know that are the end of d day nothing go happen even EFCC go get settlement hisssssssssssss

Anonymous said...

Rubbish pple. We all know nothin wud come out of all this

Anonymous said...

Can they please investigate this Ibo woman?. I don't trust Ibo women laye.
--Gbenga

Collins said...

At the end of the day they will all go scot free and the story continues.

Start earning money online via this link NOW!
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SUE JORDAN said...

Hamber Ihembe...your soup don done. Its time people started calling these currupt so called House members to book. Rubbish...if every executive they try to squeez for bribe comes out to speak out, they will all end up being sacked. Rotten currupt illetrate animals...

Emma Blogs said...

Nigeria is always one news of scam or the other...when will we begin to see real progress reports? God help us...

Emma Blogs said...

Na wa OH! It's always one scam news or the other...When will we begin to read about real progress reports in this nation? God help us!...

mo said...

ole, barawo, theif theif. proper that who she is

Proudly Igbo said...

Illiterate and racist Gbenga, she's not Igbo. You show your illiteracy all the time. I bet you think GEJ is Igbo too? Bloody racist.

Anonymous said...

I dont know why y'all are getting excited when you hear probing or that some agency or body is about to be probed. We've had tons of probes in this country amd none has panned out. Just steal the money, they'll set up a panel and after three months, another probe will replace your probe and another panel is born. People cant you guys read in between the lines...The Elumelu probe on electricity committee in the house, the Bankole probe re the recent BILLIONS, the most recent one, the Pension probe rearding 8billion naira and on and on. Common, who are they fooling? let's see what comes out of this.

Anonymous said...

Some of u frm ur post u dnt even know d state of affairs in d country ... If na celeb matter u guys ll talk n talk .. N u call ms oteh igbo , she is not Igbo ....

Anonymous said...

THE SAME PEOPLE DECIEVING PEOPLE PDP

Anonymous said...

If you point one finger at somebody the remaining ones is yours. Yesterday is Akingbola, today is her own. make na dey do good, the good name is better than gold and silver.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Ada 4 dis comment,she will surely come out victorious by God's grace

Anonymous said...

Why can't pple just do the job they are paid to do! it ain't rocket science! Geez!!!

Anonymous said...

Simple

Anonymous said...

Sharrap jor yoruba donse :p

Anonymous said...

Thank you Ada 4 dis comment,she will surely come out victorious by God's grace

Anonymous said...

People, please ignore Gbengas comment. We all know his an idiot

Anonymous said...

Gbenga...your yoruba sister, prof adenike grange stole funds few months into her tenure as minister of health and was sacked. Or is it patricia ette - the hair dresser turned speaker? Dont even go into tribal issues you punk. Nigerians know the worth of dora akunyilis, oby ezekwesilis, ngozi okonjo iwealas etc. By the time this issue is concluded, we shall know who is who. If you hv watched d way dis hembe man has handled this hearing, you will not believe dat pple (s)elected such a character to represent them....and to think that he is said to be a lawyer is disappointing.

Anonymous said...

haba hembe. How can you ask someone questions and also prevent her from answering. Dats not fair. Again, we expect ur comittee to engage pple on d issues dat affected d stock market with a view to finding solutions. Its disappointing that you are more interested in oteh's food and housing. Have u invited ndi okereke onyiuke and d sec man who were incharge during the collapse of nse?

Anonymous said...

From your name, it is easy to know you are defending your kinsman Hembe. I have just heard that he finished NYSC in 2006 which makes me wonder the hope of Nigeria for the future.

I watched the public hearing and Hembe's conduct was appalling. Not only did he monopolize the questioning but also forced his "putiing it to Oteh" down the woman's throat by cutting her off and making sure she does not answer any question put to her to the best of her ability.

Did I hear that the said Hembe is a lawyer? If this is true than he is a bad one. I say so because lawyers also say that the accused is innocent until proven guilty. For Hembe, Oteh is already guilty and he does not need any answer from her.

The way Hembe reacted when Oteh started her allegations (captured by TV camera) speaks volume. He was visibly shaken. Who knows,since Oteh did not play ball, he may have collected money from another camp hence the obvious hostility towards Oteh. It is common knowledge that Oteh removed Okereke Onyiuke from NSE which generated bad blood. Deputy Speaker Emeka Ihedioha is Onyiuke's nephew so it is easy to see that interested parties are involved in this case. Pay back time maybe.

Hembe also said he doubts Oteh's qualification and requested to sight her certificates. Oteh passed through Senate screening and I expect Hembe to know better that her credentials would have been scrutinized at the time.

One had expected that the main purpose of this hearing would be to identify the operational factors that crashed the stock matket with a view to making legislation to correct them. That is even the reason that I watched because I have investments that went bad. I expected to see intellectual discourse. Unfortunately, Hembe disappointed me as he basically reduced the whole stuff to Oteh's food and housing with direct assault on Oteh's person. Anyone could have gotten angry at that.

I do not think it is right for Oteh to spend so much on hotel bills but did they provide accomodation for her upon her appointment? I am aware that so many other appointees start off with hotel accomodations. This is not an isolated case and should be properly addressed. I learnt she has since moved into an apartment she rented. On the issue of money spent on food (850K, and another 85K), it appears to be a one off thing, the receipts should be gotten from the hotel to see if a business luncheon was held or anything of that nature. I do not think one person alone can finish food for the amount mentioned. Unless we are told that she collaborated with the hotel to siphon money. There is need to investigate but my question is how these very issues cause the down turn of our stock market that Hembe is raising hell over them instead of engaging in meaningful discourse.

Another allegation is about the Access bank staff on secondment to SEC which Hembe said undermines the regulatory functions of the SEC since Access bank is a player. Oteh replied that the role the men from Access play is not core regulatory roles but projects and communication ( I am not sure again) and that they draw their salaries from Access still. I know that people go on secondment and even draw salaries from their new posts so if these men work for SEC at no fixed salary cost, it could be a good deal but again is their engagement is faulty then they should be removed. My question again, how does Access bank cause the crash of stock market. I have read where some people including the house of rep members argue that it could be the reason Access was able to acquire Intercontinental. Unless I am told otherwise, I know that banking regulation is done by CBN and not SEC. Where SEC could come in is during share restructuring.

I would want the hearing to continue so that solutions to our crashed stock market could be proferred but I dont want to see Hembe as chair. Apart from the allegations, he has not shown maturity enough to handle this sort of probe. I also want to see real debates and not frivolities per se.

Anonymous said...

@Proudly Ibo,
You said Arunma Oteh is not Ibo?. You don't even know your own people. Why are Ibos ignorant of their culture?
--Gbenga

Libero said...

@anonymous 20th March 12.48 am......God bless u for that lengthy analysis..its people like u dat should be penning hia not these ignorant ethnic bigots.... informing!!!

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