The extravagant life and wasteful spending of public funds by the Director General of Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Ms Aruma Oteh were exposed today by members of the House of Representatives who also accused her of failing woefully to protect the investments of Nigerians in the rescued five banks and some insurance companies.
The lawmakers also accused her of flouting the law in the engagement of some senior staff of SEC, especially the recruitment of three officials of Acess bank which they described as totally indefensible.The lawmakers expressed doubts about the authenticity of Oteh’s educational qualifications and requested her to appear before them tomorrow with original copies of her certificates.
Chairman of the Committee, Herman Hembe, who presided over the hearing said:“On this note, I will ask that while you are coming here tomorrow, you bring proof of your qualification. The Senate may have cleared you based on erroneous document you presented to it.
“We have also found out that you have been spending the money of SEC unjustly. You have stayed in Hilton hotel for eight months. On a particular day, you ate N85000 worth of food on a single day; you spent over N30 million within the period. We have proofs of all these.
“How can you allow Access Bank which is one of the financial institutions that SEC regulates to second its staff to your office? This can compromise the operations of SEC and further kill the confidence the public have in capital market”
While responding to the allegations against her, Oteh said
“Those workers were on secondment from Access Bank. Their work has nothing to do with our regulatory functions in SEC. By your comments, you are implying that SEC had been affected by the secondment. This is not the case.”
She frowned at the manner in which the committee was asking questions adding that there were other motives behind the questions.
Oteh defended her stay in the hotel saying it is constitutional. Although she did not refute claims that she expended N85000 on meals for one day, she denied allegations that she she is extravagant.