8 Years After! How Arunma Oteh Stuck A Dagger In Ndi Okereke-Onyiuke’s Back.

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8 Years After! How Arunma Oteh Stuck A Dagger In Ndi Okereke-Onyiuke’s Back.

8 Years After! How Arunma Oteh Stuck A Dagger In Ndi Okereke-Onyiuke’s Back.
March 01
13:33 2018

• Why She Will Never Forgive Arunma Oteh

It is often said that all a man can betray is his conscience but if you ask Ndi Okereke-Onyiuke, she would tell you that, it takes a far more concentrated and self-seeking character to outclass her estranged friend, Arunma Oteh, in perfidy and subterranean intrigues. Until she got speared in the heart by Oteh, the disgraced former Director-General of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), believed in the love and comradeship she shared with Oteh.

It would be recalled that Oteh chose to betray the woman who facilitated her ascension to the position of Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). No sooner did she become SEC boss than Oteh eclipsed the sun of her best friend and benefactor. Rather than honour the bond of friendship by celebrating the then DG of the NSE who chose to guarantee her appointment as DG of SEC, Oteh refused to do so. Instead, she enforced her statutory role as the superior of Okereke-Onyiuke and sacked the latter, seven months into her tenure as SEC boss without recourse to due process.

Arunma Oteh

That was hardly part of their plan but Oteh smuggled in the treacherous clause in an intricate plot masterminded by her thus leaving the thickset and ostentatious Okereke-Onyuike heartbroken and mystified. Okereke-Onyuike had her statutory 10-year tenure as NSE boss truncated abruptly on Wednesday, August 4, 2010 following allegations of financial impropriety against her office. She was sacked by her bosom friend cum SEC’s Ombudsman then.

Oteh as the new SEC boss had acted on allegations of poor corporate governance, inability to put a proper succession plan, financial mismanagement and insolvency of the exchange under the former NSE DG even as most market analysts at the time pinned Okereke-Onyiuke’s dismissal to the fallout of the altercation and supremacy battle between her and Africa’s foremost business mogul and richest man, Alhaji Aliko Dangote.

Of course,  Okereke-Onyiuke challenged her dismissal in court and secured a ruling in her favour. Among the reliefs granted by the court was a comprehensive compensation package. The victory notwithstanding, it was learnt that ‘Madam Exchange,’ as Okereke-Onyuike was generously called by her fans, was still bitter over her removal in questionable circumstance and therefore swore to get even with her accuser, in this case.

Okereke-Onyiuke, whose 10-year sojourn as NSE boss ensured that SEC remained subservient to the NSE even though it was supposed to be vice versa. In a remarkable twist, Oteh who resumed as SEC DG few months after her predecessor, Mallam Al-Faki resigned amid criticism of the role of SEC in a share-manipulation scandal involving African Petroleum stock, came with the mind-set to turn the tide in the industry. And she did. She virtually reclaimed SEC’s superiority and at once proceeded to lord it over the NSE as statutorily supported.

This among other things led to the whirlwind that swept away her former friend and NSE boss. Loyalists of Okereke-Onyiuke who were still in the NSE did not like her treatment of their former boss thus they remained loyal to the latter and worked to discredit Oteh.

Their grouses against Oteh were indeed limitless. For instance, they were not happy over Oteh’s refusal for an outright approval for the payment of some of their allowances. Her decision to refer such due rights to the salaries and wages committee of the board forced a good number of the workers to initiate some reactions which would have culminated in a breakdown of law and order.

Oteh’s stance was as a result of perceived high level of wastage in the system as well as the erosion of due diligence in the commission, two ills which she considered inimical to her mission at the commission way back then. Her stance was believed to have drastically polarised her office with the commissioners in the commission.



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