Following the decision by the Board of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to send its embattled Director General, Aruma Oteh on compulsory leave, Ms Oteh has petitioned President Goodluck Jonathan to reverse the order.
After a marathon meeting that lasted till late Monday night, the Board reached a firm resolution to send Ms Oteh on compulsory leave, agreeing that her stepping aside would make for an unfettered investigation into several allegations against her management, particularly allegations of misappropriation of N3billion on the controversial Project 50 programme.
Following the resolution, the Board appointed the most senior member, the Executive Commissioner (Operations), Ms. Daisy Ekineh, to take over as acting Director General and Chief Executive. Locks to Ms Oteh’s office were changed leaving her stranded when she arrived her office at the Central Business District, Abuja on Tuesday morning.
Also, contract staff of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) were barred from the commission’s premises. The 15 affected staffs are believed to be those engaged by Ms Oteh.
However, a close aide of the DG revealed to PUNCH that the decision to send her on compulsory leave was taken to ridicule her as well as pursue an agenda of tenure extension.
“You will recall that all the members of the SEC Board, apart from the DG, are due to end their tenure on the board this Friday, and so coming up with this kind of thing now, surely, seems like a bid to unduly extend their tenure.
“However, Oteh has a lot of options open to her, and she will take the matter to her employer to query the decision of the board in terms of due process and fairness. It is obvious that due process was not followed in all this.”
To defend her position therefore, Ms Oteh, yesterday, petitioned the Presidency and other relevant authorities over her suspension from office by the Board of the Commission.
According to a source close to Oteh, she has already sent a letter to the Presidency, Minister of Finance and other relevant agencies, with the hope that she will be given fair hearing on the issue.
The source, however, said pending the response of the Presidency, Oteh would not interfere and would allow the Board to carry out their investigation, adding: “She has agreed to take her suspension from office in good faith, saying that she will abide by due process, until the Presidency wades into the matter.”
What do you think about the compulsory leave given to the Director General of the SEC? Was she right in petitioning the President & Finance Minister over her suspension?
Please share your thoughts.
News Source: Punch | Vanguard | Premium Times