Former Chairman of the House Committee on Capital Markets, Hon. Herman Hembe and Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, Ms. Arunma Oteh
By Emma Ujah, abuja Bureau Chief, Gabriel Enocholase & Michael Eboh
The N44m bribery allegations leveled against the Chairman of the House Committee on Capital Markets, Hon. Herman Hembe and members of his committee by the Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, Ms. Arunma Oteh may have unsettled the legislators.
Meanwhile, Oteh has debunked allegations that she spent N850,000 on food, saying the amount in question was N85,000 only. According to a statement by the Commission signed by Mr. Obi Adindu, Communications Adviser, SEC, the allegations against Oteh were false.
Also, investigations by Vanguard between Thursday and yesterday indicated that the D-G is in possession of evidences upon which strength she made her allegations. Given the embarrassing allegations by Ms. Oteh, it was learnt that some interest groups have advised the legislators to be circumspect in handling the matter to avoid maximum damage to the image of the House of Reps, in particular and that of the federal legislators in general.
As learnt, the allegation of collecting extacode by Hon. Hembe without travelling abroad was seen by those trying to defuse the tension as “problematic” and could become an avenue for damaging the reputation of the National Assembly.
Feelers indicated that Ms. Oteh could throw more mud at the legislators if further provoked as was done on the first day of the committee’s sitting on Wednesday when her qualification and competence to be appointed as the chief executive of the SEC was called to question.As learnt, the leadership of the House met members of the committee to receive first-hand report of what transpired at the sittings of the first two days and asked that it remains focused on issues when the hearing resumes on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, a Benin based constitutional lawyer and Notary Public, Mr. Olayiwola Afolabi has called for immediate arrest of the chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Capital Markets, Mr. Herman Hembe for demanding bribe from the Director- General of the Nigerian Securities Exchange, Ms Aruna Otei..
Afolabi called on the Speaker of the House, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal to immediately dissolve the Committee and other similar committees, saying that the revelation by Ms. Oteh has indicated that Nigerians have lost confidence in probes carried out by the House.
According to him, “the revelation by Ms Oteh coming after what happened at the Power probe by another Committee by Elumelu has shown that the House is not freed of allegations of corruption. The Speaker should therefore dissolve the Committees and similar others because Nigerians have lost confidence in them”
“He should also set up a probe panel to probe Committees that have engaged in similar public hearings as what is emanating from the Committee on Capital Markets have shown that they have all been wrecked with corruption”.
He commended Ms Oteh for having the gut to reveal the behind- the- scene demand for bribes and called on other chief executives of federal government owned parastatals to emulate her.