The war of words involving the duo of former director general of the Nigerian Stock Exchange, Professor Ndi Okereke-Onyuike and director general of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Ms Aruma Oteh, is taking another dimension as they have both resorted to calling each other names.
Recently at the House of Representatives public hearing on the collapse of the stock market, the duo unabashedly washed their dirty linens in public. Aruma Oteh fired the first salvo when she stated that the former council led by Okereke-Onyuike embarked on a wasteful expenditure.
In her words: “For instance, the NSE bought a yacht for N37 million and wrote down the book value within one year by recognizing it in the books as a gift presented during its 2008 Long Service Award (LSA), yet there are no records of the beneficiary.
“The Exchange also spent N186 million on 165 Rolex wristwatches as gifts for awardees out of which only 73 were actually presented to the awardees. The outstanding 92 Rolex watches valued at N99.5 million remain unaccounted for. This happened in previous years.”
But Okereke-Onyuike said she is no longer in possession of documents needed to exonerate herself from the scandal.
She said that she couldn’t present any document to the committee in respect of the allegation made by the SEC director-general, Ms Aruma Oteh on May 7, adding that this was because her office was raided and vital documents carted away by security men on the instruction of Oteh.
The former NSE boss rather said, “There may be some documents you may ask from me which I don’t have, but if you ask the chief executive of the NSE, Mr Oscar Onyema, can bring them to you.”
Ndi Okereke-Onyiuke said further that Aruma Oteh was not adequately qualified to head the commission.
She stated that “by the rules, the DG of SEC must have 16 years cognate experience and must be a member of the Stock Exchange so that you will be able to know what you are doing.
Okereke-Onyuike also said if the SEC DG boasts of graduating with a first class in UNN and top of her class in Harvard, she is a professor and a teacher in both institutions.
“I am a proper professor. It is not an award. You are bragging that you studied in Harvard. You went there to learn, I teach there. If you had first class at UNN, I teach there also,” she said.
In her reaction, Oteh said she never claimed what she is not unlike someone whose authenticity of her doctorate degree is in serious contention referring to Okereke-Onyuike who is alleged not to officially hold the title.
In a letter dated January 18, 2011, and written in response to routine initiated by the US Securities and Exchange Commission in further of its regular due diligence on notable Stock Exchanges around the world, Vincent J. De Lucas, director of student services, senior registrar at the university’s graduate school and custodian of students records at the Graduate Centre, averred under oath of perjury that:
“On January 18, 2011, I caused a search to be conducted of our students (including graduation records) at the Graduate Centre at the request of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, to determine if Ms Ndi Okereke-Onyuike was ever enrolled in business and if she received a PhD in business at the Graduate Centre.
“A thorough search of our electronics and paper files for the names, Ndi Leche Okereke, Ndi Okereke-Onyuike and Ndi Lechi Okereke-Onyuike was conducted. No record was found that Ms Ndi Okereke-Onyuike ever enrolled in the PhD programme in business or received a PhD in business at the Graduate Centre.”