I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR CAPITAL MARKET CRISIS – ONYIUKE. No, you lied on oath – Oteh
Former Director General of the Nigerian Stock Exchange, Prof. Ndi Okereke Onyiuke at her presentation to the House of Representative committee probing the near collapse of the capital market denied any complicity in the crisis that rocked the sector.
Onyiuke cited banks and the SEC as those responsible for the capital market crisis and accused the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN of failing to regulate margin loans which banks used to speculate share prices, and did not protect investors when the loans were indiscriminately given out.
“It was margin loans that led to the collapse of the Nigerian Stock Exchange, nothing more,” she said. “We opposed the banks using their own registrars whenever they come to the market for offers.”
She refuted claims by Arunma-Oteh of mismanagement of funds saying: “I am not an angel, but stealing does not exist in my vocabulary,”
It would be recalled that the Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission Dr Arunma-Oteh at the resumed hearing of the House of Representatives. Probe of the capital market probe on Monday accused the Nigeria Stock Exchange under Okereke Onyiuke of mismanaging funds as well as “weaknesses in corporate governance, weaknesses in risk management, weaknesses in internal control, insufficient oversight of brokerage firms and listed companies and inability to enforce rules” all of which were responsible for the near collapse of the capital market.
Meanwhile, the Securities and Exchange Commission SEC in an swift reaction Tuesday night to the former NSE boss disputed all the claims, pointing out that several of them were downright false.
“SEC’s intervention was the only way to cut short her reluctance (quit). It was the only way to put paid to the regime of unaccountability and financial recklessness, which she had instituted to the point that the exchange was on the verge of bankruptcy,” SEC said in a statement.
The Commission also dismissed as entirely untrue, the claims by Onyiuke that SEC and Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) approved the “Offer Prospectus” for “Private Placements”, which have remained unlisted on the NSE, pointing out that at no time did the Commission ever approve offer documents for vendors of private placements.
“We decry this recourse to deliberate falsification of facts by Okere – Onyiuke under oath. We invite her to deposit proof of this fabrication in the public domain. As a matter of fact, the SEC had placed a number of “buyer beware” advertorials in key national daily newspapers advising the investing public that private placements were beyond the regulatory purview of the SEC,” it said.
On the claims that SEC was not performing its market development responsibility, Ms Oteh in the statement denied the allegation saying that SEC has revitalised the Subcommittee system which is a market–wide development initiative intended to confront all areas of deficiency in the market.