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Smelly deals: SEC board, others risks sack

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By Augustine Aminu

Heads may roll at the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) as anti-graft agencies are now looking into the books of the commission over alleged approval of N30 million to support the House of Representatives hearing on the management of the agency.

There are already fears that the matter, which is now being examined by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) may lead to the sacking and possible prosecution of the members of the board if the allegation happen to be true.

Trouble started at the hearing on Tuesday, when the SEC Director General, Arunma Oteh in firing back to allegation by the now sacked Chairman of the House Committee on Capital Market, Herman Hembe that she spent N850,000 for meals in a day, stated that Hembe has demanded the sum of N44 million from her and had also collected estacodes for trips he did not make.

Accepting to step down, Hembe had tabled a document in which he alleged that the board of the commission had approved the sum of N30 million as inducement for the committee but added that he did not collect the money.

However, both Hembe and Oteh are now said to have been invited and questioned by the EFCC ahead of full scale investigation on the matter.

The EFCC is going ahead with the investigation despite denials from SEC that the commission never tried to induce the committee.

It was gathered that fear has gripped top officials of the commission as Hembe had tabled some memos said to be from the commission in which the board considered and approved the money to support the committee.

This is especially because there might be questions bordering on which provision of its budget the commission intended to draw the fund.

A memo signed by one E.K Aigbekan, dated March 13, 2012, and which contained extracts said to be from the minutes of the 63rd meeting of the board of the commission showed that it approved a maximum of N30 million in support of the hearing and directed that the management should work out areas of sponsorship with the House Committee.

There are also fears that the anti-graft agency might go beyond the issues raised at the hearing to now launch a full scale inquest into the books of the commission.

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