Okereke-Onyuike blames her sack on politics


By Ini Ekott August 12, 2010 12:35AM


Ndidi Okereke-Onyuike has said the allegations of fraud which led to her sack as head of the Nigerian Stock Exchange last week were politically motivated.


Ms Okereke-Onyuike and the former president of the Exchange, Aliko Dangote, who was also fired last week, met separately with the House of Representatives committee on Capital Market yesterday.


Both of them have not spoken publicly about their removal, announced last Wednesday by the capital market regulator, Security and Exchange Commission.


The commission said it intervened to save the market from avoidable collapse that may arise from conflict between Ms Okereke-Onyuike and Mr Dangote.


The two former heads of the Exchange were earlier scheduled to appear before federal lawmakers to explain their roles in the allegations which increased in the weeks leading to their sack.


Mr Dangote said he will not speak on the issues raised due to ongoing investigations by the SEC, and later held closed-session meeting with the lawmakers.


Before meeting the lawmakers in a similar session, Ms Okereke-Onyuike denied the charges of fraud against her, and said documentations at the Exchange’s office, which she has been barred from, will prove her right.


“Whatever allegations that have been made have very little or nothing to do with the stock exchange accounts,” she said.


“The account of the stock exchange is very much in order. I have worked there for 28 years, and at no time had my integrity ever been put to question.


“I have been taught to be straight forward, honest person and I had a lot of high integrity so I would not be associated with an institution that is riddled with fraud, or where I would see something wrong and close my eyes. I would consider what you have seen in the papers as political, and I will give details to members later on.”


She said although she did not appear with documented evidences to support her responses to the lawmakers due to her being denied access to the office, she had sufficient offhand details which could satisfactorily defend her position.


The details, she said, will point to political interests in the developments at the Exchange and would rather be disclosed at private session with the members aware from the media.


At an earlier meeting with the legislators on Tuesday, the Director General of the Security and Exchange Commission, Aruma Oteh, said 260 individuals and organisations will face the Investment and Securities Tribunal over allegations of insider trading, share manipulations and other malpractices.


Biblical woman with child Ms Okereke-Onyuike said her decision not to discuss the allegations against her, is patterned after the biblical woman who chose to give up her baby than have it shared with her adversary.


“I am the woman that owned that child; I would rather not destroy the capital market because of my personal self interest. I would rather take any heat that comes to me rather than destroy the child that I have created,” she said.


“It is like my own child so I would rather not say and do things that would put more heat in the market or destroy the institution of the capital market, because my whole life is there.


“I don’t do contracts; I don’t do any other business except the stock exchange. Am a thoroughbred professional, I have been trained properly and part of that training had nothing to do with stealing, or appropriating what does not belong to me.”


(Source: 234Next)





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