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Lawyers Call For Sacking Of ‘Unqualified’ NEXIM Bank Director, Okotete Over Alleged Corruption, Give Buhari Government Ultimatum

November 30, 2022

SaharaReporters had reported how Okotete was appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari despite issues regarding her qualification.

A group of legal practitioners, Lawyers For Justice Reform has demanded the sacking of Stella Okotete, Executive Director (Business Development) at the Nigeria Export-Import (NEXIM) Bank over alleged fraud.

SaharaReporters had reported how Okotete was appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari despite issues regarding her qualification.

It was gathered that the All Progressives Congress chieftain did not have the 18 years of post-graduation experience required to occupy such high office as specified by the Central Bank of Nigeria circular of 15th October 2015.

It was also revealed that Okotete did not have any experience in the banking industry as required by the law.

“A minimum of first degree or its equivalent in any discipline plus a higher degree or professional qualification in any business-related discipline. Candidates must also have a minimum of 18 years post-graduation experience, out of which at least 13 must be in the banking industry and at least 2 as General Manager,” the CBN document read.

“Evidence of experience in several areas of banking operations including business development and customer services management.”

In a petition to Boss Mustapha, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Lawyers For Justice Reform demanded the sacking of Okotete for “serial criminal activities bordering on excessive and reckless abuse of office, deceitful misrepresentation of her qualifications to earn the post of the Executive Director of the NEXIM Bank.”

The petition was signed by Aare Oladotun Hassan, Executive Director of the group and Secretary of the Epe Branch of the Nigeria Bar Association.

It read in part, “Sir, we urgently request for a proper investigation over massive corruption allegations, round-tripping and recycling of different loans and use of various front-companies as proxy to defraud NEXIM BANK of Billions of Naira and Dollars, consequently, we demand the immediate replacement of STELLA OKOTETE as EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF NEXIM BANK hereinafter referred to as "Culprit/Suspect", predicated upon our demand for the independent and conscientious thorough background investigation and profiling of the culprit's academic credentials and sequence of events as stated in her unsubstantiated and ridiculously padded CV:

“Rising from Hairdresser Spa Salon Operator to ED NEXIM BANK, with No banking service 15 years nor financial accounting experience (ATTACHED HEREWITH), as well as serial criminal activities bordering on excessive and reckless abuse of office, deceitful misrepresentation of her qualifications to earn the post of the Executive Director of the NEXIM BANK, conspicuously done in gross violation of the Central Bank of Nigeria Laws and Regulations, and most embarrassing is the unimplemented April 2019 Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petition's Resolution signed by Senator Samuel N. Anyawu (ATTACHED HEREWITH) recommending her immediate removal as the Executive Director of the Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM BANK), precipitating our urgent demand for your good office to conduct detailed investigation of all transactions and trading on the NEXIM's corporate accounts from inception of her appointment till date, including all procurement contracts, Budget, loans, purchased items, contractual payments and internal dealings, most of which are fictitious and fraudulent.

“Regrettably, the suspect is now hellbent to retain her office while relying on Bank and Financial Act Cap B 3, which has no direct correlation with the provisions to grant her immunity waiver for failure of compliance. She is unrepentant to pervert further criminal activities, if allowed to continue to hold on to her position as the Executive Director of the NEXIM BANK, while consolidating on her fraudulent spree under the guise of privileged knowledge, abuse of office and executive recklessness.”

It further said, “On this premise, we anticipate your good office independent, swift and fair investigation, while hoping on your authorized reversal of all discharged transactions, and further accord the investigating team to act decisively through the office of the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, particularly EFCC and office of the Inspector General of Police to recover all fraudulent payments earned as Executive Director of the NEXIM BANK; during the entire years and period of her appointment till date, as well as harmonize their investigation accordingly.

“Our humble appeal is done in due recognition of your responsive call to duty. Our petition is predicated on the fact that consequent upon Stella Erhuvwuoghene Okotete's long years of unchecked nefarious activities and continuous massive corruption currently perpetrated at the NEXIM BANK; hence our economy has suffered greatly as a result of her lack of capacity, technical know-how, financial accounting and administrative management knowledge in the handling and management of the day to day running of the apex financial institution regulating Nigeria's Exports and Imports Businesses, inevitably leading to untold hardship, monumental embarrassment and aggravated economic loss.

“We write your good office for onward implementation, investigation and compliance with the statutory legislative resolution of the House of Senate dated April 2019 (Attached herewith), this is done in accordance with the operational laws and 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (As Amended) respectively.

“Stella Erhuvwuoghene Okotete's gross misconduct, ineptitude, massive corruption and embezzlement is most inhuman, wicked, most corrupt, highly demeaning and unlawful to say the least.

“We further reiterate, if nothing urgent is done to rescue the situation, the culprit is ready to wreak further monumental havoc; what a double jeopardy. Our request is that we appeal to your good office should please direct an independent team of law enforcement agents to investigate our complaint and HARMONIZE all the facts and evidence for proper investigation, in order to avoid injustice and ensure possible conclusion on the criminal aspect of the case, so that the erring suspects would be charged to court in due time soon.”

The lawyers also threatened to sue the Nigerian government if it fails to address their demands.

“We hereby reiterate for the umpteenth time that our demand for Stella Erhuvwuoghene Okotete's removal and replacement as Executive Director of the NEXIM Bank is in the interest of fairness, equity and justice.

“TAKE NOTICE: If this evil and the satanic situation persists unattended to on or before the 5th day of December, 2022, we shall not hesitate to seek legal redress at a court of competent jurisdiction forthwith.”