Ms. Arunma Oteh
By Goddy Egene
PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC), appointed by the Board of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to conduct an independent investigation into the sources and application of funds collected on behalf of the Commission for Project 50, has submitted its report, indications emerged weekend.
PWC was appointed to audit the Project 50, following the report of the Board committee that recommended the suspension of Ms. Arunma Oteh as the Director-General over allegation of mismanagement of the funds realised for the project.
The project, an initiative spearheaded by Oteh, was used to celebrate 50 years of capital market regulation in Nigeria.
Although details of the report remained sketchy at press time, it was learnt that PWC did not link Oteh directly with any fraudulent practice, but she was found to have executed the project without following due process, an impeccable source informed THISDAY.
“According to the report of the independent auditors (PWC), she was not found to have directly committed any fraud through the Project 50. However, she was found to have acted with complete disregard to due process and laid-down civil service principles. Besides, some of her aides must have engaged in some incriminating practices during the Project,” the source said.
Sources had told THISDAY that the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) paid a total sum of N10 million to three vendors (Dublysees Enterprises, Kanche Concept House Enterprise and Xavier Communications Ltd), which were linked to one of Oteh’s aides employed into the Commission last year.
Since the Federal Government is yet to appoint a new board for SEC, the Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is expected to act on the report, which will also determine the fate of the suspended SEC director-general.
Oteh had protested her suspension through a letter dated June 11, 2012 to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Pius Anyim. She alleged that the board had conspired to terminate her appointment and abort the reforms which she is leading in both SEC and the Nigerian capital market.
She had therefore, pleaded with Anyim to reverse the anomaly and illegality at SEC and “restore the unwholesomeness in the system to forestall their negative consequences for both the institution and the Nigerian capital market.”