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Capital Market Probe: Hembe, Ifeanyi to Face Trial

11 May 2012

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Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Capital Markets, Herman Hembe

By Tobi Soniyi

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) secured the leave of an Abuja High Court to file charges of corruption against the Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Capital Markets and his deputy Messrs. Iorwase Herman Hembe and Azubuogu Emeka Ifeanyi respectively.
Both of them will be arraigned on a two-count charge on May 17 for alleged diversion of public funds.

Hembe and Ifeanyi were serving as Chairman and Deputy Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Capital Markets and Institutions respectively before a bribery allegation by the Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Ms Arunma Oteh, forced the House to ask them to stop sitting.

An ad hoc committee was later set up to investigate the capital market.

Ruling on the application by EFCC seeking leave to prefer criminal charges against the lawmakers, Justice Abubakar Sadiq Umar held that the application has merit based on the proof of evidence.

In the two-count charge brought by counsel to the EFCC, Mr Onjefu Obe, the anti-graft agency alleged that Hembe and Ifeanyi converted to their own use the sum of $4,095 (about N600,000) given to them by the SEC as travelling allowance to a conference in Dominican Republic in October 2011.

The offence is contrary to section 308 of the Penal Code Act, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

The charge reads:

Count One: “That you Hon Iorwase Herman Hembe sometime in October 2011 in Abuja within the Judicial Division of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory dishonestly converted to your own use the sum of $4095 (Four thousand, Ninety Five Dollars) being money given to you by the Securities and Exchange Commission as your travelling allowance to PUNCTA CANA, Dominican Republic to attend a conference which you did not attend and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 308 of the Penal Code Act, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (Abuja) 2004 and punishable under section 309 of the same code.

Count Two: “That you Hon Azubogu Chris Emeka Ifeanyi sometime in October, 2011 in Abuja within the Judicial division of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory dishonestly converted to your own use the sum of $4095 (Four thousand, Ninety Five Dollars) being money given to you by the Securities and Exchange Commission as your travelling allowance to PUNCTA CANA, Dominican Republic to attend a conference which you did not attend and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 308 of the Penal Code Act, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (Abuja) 2004 and punishable under section 309 of the same code.”

At the public hearing on the probe of capital market in March, Oteh had alleged that he refusal to part with N44 million bribe demanded by the committee was responsible for the antagonistic questioning by the panel.

She said the committee requested the fund to support the public hearing.

However, in a dramatic twist in the tale, Hembe alleged that it was SEC that offered to bribe his committee with N30 million.
Hembe, while offering to step down as chairman of the probe committee, alleged that the true story was that SEC offered to support the committee financially.

Hembe’s offer to step aside was accepted while the entire members of the committee were eased out.

Consequently, the House set up an eight-man ad hoc committee to begin the process of conducting the probe afresh.

The allegations levelled against Hembe and members of the House Committee on Capital Market were then referred to the House Committee on Ethics and Privileges.

Tags: News, Nigeria, Featured, Capital Market Probe, HEMBE

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  • If you spend your millions to steal(rig) the people's votes, you shall always represent them as a thief. Thank goodness that the house of reps is beginning to expose the Armed Robbers from among her ranks. May the Almighty God grant them the courage to also exposed the Boko Haram members as well. That our country may know peace.

    From: Akan Udoh

    Posted: 2 years ago

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  • What a cock up!!

    From: Uche

    Posted: 2 years ago

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  • the problem is that the EFCC will waste tax payers money in the pursuit of futility

    From: Kayode Olufade

    Posted: 2 years ago

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