Following Monday’s allegations and accusations of financial imprudence made by the Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Ms Arunma Oteh levelled on former Director-General of the Nigeria Stock Exchange, Prof. Ndi Okereke Onyiuke, the former DG of NSE appeared before the panel yesterday to defend herself against some of the allegations.
She also provided a way forward for the present administrators of the SEC and NSE.
In her earlier statement, Okereke-Onyuike accused the CBN merger loans of being the main reasons why the capital market was in a state of comatose.
She said, “the merger loans given to most of the commercial banks have cost the present mess faced by the capital market”.
She further said that many of the fictitious private companies registered by the Corporate Affairs Commission saw the capital market as a money making avenue for themselves, and tried to exploit individuals and innocent investors in the market.
However, she highlighted some major points on how the market could get back to its glorious days of market booming.
“I wish to state that some of the ways which the market can get its confidence back in the mind of investors are as follows: appointment of the market makers which must include a public enlightenment because the stock market is the barometer of the economy of any country.
Secondly, merger of stock brokering firms, as this will make them stronger because most of them are too weak to stand alone, thirdly, the e-dividend and e-certificates should be encouraged so that they can be properly kept and protected.
She further said that the setting up of another government’s agency to monitor unclaimed dividends and certificates should be discouraged as this would bring about over-lapping of duties.
Prof.Okereke-Onyiuke also said that the SEC should have developmental functions and not just police offenders but enlighten them while the SEC should be adequately funded by the Federal Government. She concluded by adding that Value Added Tax placed on shareholders should be abolished.
Meanwhile, the Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Ms Arunma Oteh failed to appear before the panel yesterday, giving a written excuse in which she asked for the permission of the House probe panel to allow her to attend an economic summit being chaired by President Goodluck Jonathan.
But in a swift response, the chairman of the probe panel, Hon. Ibrahim El-Sudi, ordered her to appear before the panel unfailingly by 10am today or the law will be used against her.
Oteh had on Monday at the resumed probe, reeled out series of cases of recklessness in the running of the SEC under the watch of Okereke-Onyuike.
Meanwhile, former Director- General of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Prof. Ndidi Okereke-Onyuike, came under hammer on Monday at the resumed probe into the various malpractices that led to the collapse of the capital market.
D-G of the commission, Mrs. Arunmah Oteh, whose statements culminated in the dissolution of the initial probe panel in the House of Representatives, spilled it all as she left no one in doubt on the various criminal acts that got underway under the nose of the former DG.
In what amounted to a glaring abuse of positions, criminal diversion of funds and extravagant disbursement of funds, Oteh revealed that high-level transactions breached all rules known to the financial sector.
In many of the shady deals involving banks, Oteh accused her predecessor of allowing fraud under her watch.
Oteh said in one of the instances, “”Between August 2006 and December 2008, the Executive team of Finbank engaged six law firms to incorporate 95 companies and transferred more than 425 billion of depositors’ funds to nine of these companies, and purchased 2.8 billion units of its own shares against SEC rules.
“Between June 2007 and December 2008, Intercontinental Bank (now under Access Bank), its directors and principal officers engaged in unlawful share buyback schemes, buying about 3.4 billion units of shares using depositors’ funds. It violated Section 105, 106 and Section 110 of ISA 2007 as well as Section 160 of CAMA and Rule 109b of SEC Rules.
“Then, in 2007, Union Bank borrowed amounts totalling £430.4billion from two foreign investment banks. The funds were transferred to Union Trustees, which in turn transferred the funds to Falcon Securities. In four days in November 2007, Falcon purchased 620.4million units of shares worth $430.8 billion ahead of a public offer/rights issue.
“In 2007, Falcon Securities carried out 181,088 transactions with respect to Union Bank shares. This drove up the share price of Union Bank stocks from a low of $423.30 in January 2007 to £450.33 in November 2007, in other words, a price appreciation of over 110% within 11 months.
Lamenting further, Oteh said, “these were the kinds of financial imprudence that were perpetrated at the NSE.” ”
Narrating how the SEC spent huge funds on wasteful ventures, Oteh accused the Okereke-Onyuike-led SEC of purchasing 165 Rolex watches for N186million which were presented as gifts to awardees.
She disclosed that out of the 165, only 73 were given out while the remaining expensive gifts had remained unaccounted for till date.
At Monday’s sitting, it appeared that Oteh struggled to caution herself against statements that could cause further tension at the new probe panel having forced the House to appoint a new panel after her allegation of bribery against the former one led by Hon. Ihembe.
FG Alerts On Massive Flooding In Rivers, FCT, Others
The Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA), an agency of the Federal Ministry of Water Resources, has predicted more devastating floods from the end of August to early October in some states of the federation, including Rivers and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Already, the agency said in line with its earlier predictions, Lagos, Nasarawa, Anambra, Abia, Kwara, Kaduna, Rivers, Enugu, Borno and Ondo states had witnessed severe flooding as a result of heavy local rainfalls compounded by poor drainage system.
The Director-General of the agency, Engr. Nze Clement Onyeaso, in an interaction with some journalists in Abuja, yesterday, said all areas earlier identified as flood prone this year as well as those along the Rivers Niger and Benue might likely begin to experience more devastating flooding from the end of August.
“Nigeria is located within the River Niger Basin which is occupied by nine countries namely Benin, Burkina- Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Cote d’Ivore, Guinea, Mali, Niger and Nigeria. Nigeria is located at the lowest position of the Basin and this means that once the upper catchment of the Basin gets flooded, Nigeria should be prepared to experience flooding. The period of flooding in these upstream countries is August and September of every year,’’ he said.
The DG said his agency was monitoring the development as we approach these critical months, adding that it will also continue to monitor Cameroonian authorities with regards to flood scenarios in the upper catchment of the sub-basin.
Nze warned Lagosians against the practice of dredging and sound filling the Atlantic Ocean, to build what they usually call model cities like those in Lekki and Banana Island, saying such may, in the future, pose serious threats.
As part of the preparation for the expected floods, the DG called on Nigerians, especially the state governments to be fully prepared by ensuring cleaning of blocked drainage system and canals remove refuse, weeds, water hyacinths and floats on water channels.
The agency had earlier predicted that 121 LGAs in 27 states and FCT might experience severe flooding this year.
Rivers Police Confirm Killing Of Disbanded OSPAC Leader In EMOLGA
The Rivers State Police Command has confirmed the killing of one Alex Uwazuruike Isaac, the leader of disbanded OSPAC in Umudioga community in Emohua local Government Area of the state, last Tuesday.
The spokesperson of Rivers State Police Command, SP Nnamdi Omoni, who confirmed this in a telephone interview with The Tide, said the dismembered body of the victim has also been recovered and deposited in the mortuary for preservation.
The police spokesperson further stated that the police has restored normalcy in the community while the Commissioner of Police, Eboka Friday, has ordered for full investigation into the incident.
It would be recalled that gunmen suspected to be cultists, last Tuesday, invaded Umudioga community, and killed Alex Uwazuruike Isaac, who was said to be the leader of the disbanded OSPAC, a local vigilante group in the area.
A native of the community, who pleaded anonymity for fear of the unknown, disclosed that the gunmen, who were armed with sophisticated assault rifles, stormed the community in the afternoon and went for their target.
The source further revealed that the gunmen shot Isaac dead before beheading and dismembering his body, and later paraded the head of their victim in the community while urging natives not to panic as they came for the deceased and not for the community.
The Tide gathered that some other members of the disbanded OSPAC have already fled the community as a result of the killing of their former leader and fear of being attacked by the cultists who are hunting members of the defunct OSPAC in the area.
It was learnt that many suspected cultists were arrested and killed in the community while others fled during the reign of the deceased OSPAC commander in the community in 2019.
The Tide further learnt that the killing comes barely three weeks after the Chairman of Emohua Local Government Council, Dr Chidi Lloyd pronounced the dissolution of all vigilante groups in the LGA, and asked communities that make up the council area to submit five names of natives who would be screened and admitted into a new security outfit to be established and funded by the council in no distant time.
By: Akujobi Amadi
JAMB Fixes Mop-Up UTME For 18,000 Candidates, Aug 6
The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has rescheduled examination for more than 18,000 candidates who experienced biometric verification challenges and those who genuinely missed the just-concluded Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) as a result of a clash with this year’s National Business and Technical Examinations Board examination.
The mop-up UTME is scheduled for Friday, August 6, 2021, in some selected locations across the country.
JAMB Spokesperson, Fabian Benjamin, made this known in a statement, yesterday, titled, ‘Mop-Up UTME Holds Friday, 6th August, 2021…JAMB’.
The statement read, “Following detailed investigation and careful analysis of the highly-successful 2021 UTME, and with due consultation (resulting in gracious concession) with the National Examination Council (NECO) concerning the timetable of the council’s on-going SSCE, JAMB has scheduled a Mop-up UTME for Friday, August 6, 2021, in some selected locations across the nation.
“About 18,000 candidates slated for the examination are being notified through both text messages on their designated phone numbers and their JAMB profiles. In addition, the candidate can check using their registration number on http://www.jamb.gov.ng/2021mopup.
“For the avoidance of doubt, no candidate whose result has been duly released will be rescheduled for another examination.
“The rescheduled candidates are in the following categories:
“Candidates who could not be initially scheduled for examination owing to their inability to timely procure and supply their mandatory NINs or profile codes until after the close of the registration exercise and, therefore, had to purchase Bank Drafts (as against the usual vending of PINs) after the scheduled period for the examination and were later registered.
“Few candidates who encountered peculiar biometric verification problem, or who failed biometric verification on the examination date (and were recaptured) but were not allowed to partake in the examination. (Adequate screening arrangements have been made to re-verify such claims and any candidate found to be involved in any form of impersonation will be identified for prosecution).
“Candidates who were unable to sit for the UTME owing to the clash of timetables of the UTME and the then on-going NABTEB examinations and whose particulars have been verified and supplied directly to JAMB by NABTEB.
“Candidates who have been ascertained by JAMB to have experienced genuine rescheduling/technical problems as was the case in 30 of the 760 centres used for the examination.
“The rescheduled candidates are to print fresh examination notification slips containing the venue and time of the examination. The slips are to be printed from the JAMB website https://www.jamb.gov.ng using the candidates’ registration number from Sunday, August 1, 2021.
“The board strongly advises candidates to avoid supplying their vital information, including registration number to fraudsters who abound especially in cybercafe(s), tutorial centres springing up almost everywhere in the nation as a result of the illicit activities of examination syndicates. CBT centres approved by JAMB which are consistently monitored are relatively more secured for printing examination notification slips by candidates who cannot print such on their own.”
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