- Says Appointee Is A Hairdresser Without Relevant Qualification
Lawyers for Reform have threatened to sue President Muhammadu Buhari for appointing Stella Okotete as the Executive Director of the Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM).
The group which staged a protest tagged “#Remove StellaOkotetenow”, early Thursday at the main entrance of the National Assembly, said that the NEXIM ED was not qualified by every standard to hold the position, as it asked the President to sack her within 7 days.
Addressing journalists during the protest, the group leader, Barrister Oladotun Hassan Esq, said the appointment of Stella Okotete as Executive Director of NEXIM by President Muhammadu Buhari in April 2017 was wrong going by clearly stipulated requirements in the extant laws governing the Bank.
He said that Okotete did not have the required 18 years of post-graduation working experience before her appointment and did not even have relevant academic qualifications in financial accounting, banking, or any business-related courses.
“What can only be gotten from fraudulently concocted curriculum vitae of Okotete is that she is a former Counsellor and Beauty Salon Hairdresser.
“This is a disgrace and monumental embarrassment to the Government of President Muhammadu Buhari which prides itself as Anti – Corruption Crusader.
“In the face of the law, specifically going by the Central Bank of Nigeria Act Regulations and Order 41(3) of the Senate Rule and by reason of her lack of capacity not to have served in the banking service for 18 years, Okotete is not fit and merit to continue to hold the Executive Director of NEXIM Bank, we, therefore, call on President Muhammadu Buhari to act decisively accordingly.
“We also request that Okotete, upon removal from office, be prosecuted for misleading the entire Nigerians with false misrepresentations used in securing the appointment.
“If nothing meaningful is not urgently done in respect to our demands on or before 7th December 2022; we shall not hesitate to seek legal sanction against President Muhammadu Buhari-led federal government of Nigeria “, he said.
He explained further that move to get the allegedly incompetent and unqualified Okotete removed, was made in 2018 when a petition to that effect was forwarded to the then, Senator Sam Anyanwu-led Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions.
According to the group, the committee in its findings confirmed that Okotete did not have the requisite qualifications and experience for the position but that the Secretary to the government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, had all along been blocking the implementation of the Senate’s resolution against the embattled NEXIM boss.
However, NEXIM has accused the protesters of acting out of ignorance.
The Bank in a statement dated 1st December 2022, said the provision of section 8(3) of the NEXIM Act which provides for a Managing Director, two Executive Directors, and two non-executive directors, does not lay out qualifications for executive directors, one of which is being occupied by Stella Okotete.
“No provision in NEXIM Act lays out qualifications for appointment of Executive Directors or any Director of the Bank.
“Okotete in collaboration with other Directors of the Bank, has within the last five years, brought growth in profitability and drastic reduction of non – performing loans “, the statement stressed.
It added that President Buhari did not violate any extant laws or in-house banking procedures, on the appointments of Okotete and others.