Tinubu’s ministerial nominee, Stella Okotete under investigation

Stella Okotete, one of the ministerial nominees forwarded by President Bola Tinubu, is under investigation for abuse of office, it has emerged.

This comes only four days into the unveiling of 28 Ministerial Nominees to the Senate.

Okotete is currently under investigation by the Code of Conduct Bureau over allegations of “Abuse of Office”.

At the moment, a letter from the CCB dated 21st March 2023 with file number CCB/HQ/II&M/007/NB/099 addressed to Okotete, confirmed that the Ministerial nominee is under investigation over cases concerning breach of Code of Conduct for Public Officers.

In view of its ongoing investigation, the Code of Conduct Bureau in its letter signed by Director intelligence and monitoring (II&M),Dr. Gwimi S.P. directed Okotete to furnish the Bureau with all necessary documents needed to carry out their investigation.

Recall that the President of the Senate, Senator Godswill Akpabio had on Thursday read out the 28 ministerial nominees sent in by President Bola Tinubu for screening at the National Assembly scheduled to commence on Monday.

Former Governors of Kaduna, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, former Rivers State and Ebonyi, Nyesom Wike and Dave Umahi respectively made Tinubu’s ministerial list read on the floor of the Senate.

The immediate Governor of Jigawa State, Abubakar Badaru and a former Executive Director Nigeria Export-Import Bank (NEXIM), Stella Okotete also made the cut.

The letter from the ICPC is titled, ; “Alleged Breach of Code of Conduct for Public Officer”

According to the Bureau in the letter, it was currently investigating a case of alleged breach of Code of Conduct for Public Officers against your office, adding, “In view of the foregoing, you are requested to furnish the Bureau with the Certified True Copies (CTC) of the following documents: i. Copies of your letters of Appointment, Promotion Letters, Record of Service and Payslips from 2019 till date.ii. All lists of loans processed and approved under you. iii Acknowledgement slips of all Assets Declaration made to Code of Conduct Bureau since you joined the Public Service. iv All documents of your buildings and landed properties both developed and underdeveloped in Nigeria and abroad. v. Bank Account Statements of all your personal bank accounts from January 2019 to date.This request is made pursuant to the mandate and powers of the Bureau as enshrined in the 3° Schedule, Part 1, Paragraph 3(e) to the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended; Section 137 (a) and (b) and 138 (a) and (b) Panel Cede laws of the Federation of Nigeria 1990 and section 104 of Evidence Act 2011.”

Those who petitioned her to the Senate in a petition to trh President of the Senate are also referring to a 2019 report of the Seenate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions which in its recommendation that was adopted revealed that Stella Okotete was indicted for forgery and was recommended for voluntary resignation or sack over fraudulent misrepresentation.

According to report of the 8th Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions which was then chaired by Senator Samuel N, Anyanwu, who is presently the Gubernatorial candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in the November 11 Imo State Governorship election, Stella Okotete was found guilty after it thoroughly went through oral and written submissions available to the committee by the petitioners, Myson Law Practice on Behalf of Ilaje Global Think Tank Initiative and Stella Okotete. It was revealed that Okotete fraudulently misrepresented her qualification to hold the post of Executive Director at the bank.

The Senate document observed that the chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC did not have 15 years post-graduation experience which is required to occupy the office as specified by the Central Bank of Nigeria circular of 15th October, 2015.

Other members of the committee who signed the report then include; Senator Mao Ohuabunwa, Senator Mohammed Shitu, Senator Peter Nwaoboshi, Senator Jeremiah Useni, Senator Matthew Urhoghide,Senator Dino Melaye, Senator Omotayo Alasoadura, Senator Binta Garba, Omogunwa Yele and Senator Philip Gyunka.

Also a petition by Barrister Aare Oladotun Hassan Esq of Juryman Associate Chambers to disqualify the appointment of Okotete as a Ministerial designate based on pending case instituted against her at the Federal High Court has also been submitted to the Senate.

In the letter acknowledged by the office of the Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, the Ministerial nominee has a pending suite at the Federal High Court with No:FHC/ABJ/C8/2233/2023 bothering on serial fasle misrepresentation and forgery.

The letter read; Based on lis pending case before the Federal High Court suite No: FHC/ABJ/C8/2233/2023 /Public complaint against criminal conspiracy to wit: Violation of the CBN’S regulations on Appointment of Heads of Financial Institutions, GROSS contemptous Violation of Senate Ruling and Unimplemented 2019, Senate resolution on removal recommendation over serial fraudulent misrepresentation, No NYSC RECORDS, FALSE information in respect of her CV on Appointment as Delta State Government’s Director of Millennium Development, No accurate records, lack of prerequisite qualifications and deceitful withholding of CBN’s statutory position, obligations and duties as the Executive Director of the Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM) against Stella Erhuvwuoghene Okotete.

In a related development a group, Campaign for Transparency Network, CTN, has also asked the Nigerian Senate to reject Okekete based on her questionable Academic records.

In a statement signed by the Programme Director, Ebube Nwanka, Okotete has no School Leaving Certificate, but however proceeded to the University of Port Harcourt where she underwent through Remedial Studies after which she got admitted via direct entry into the Benson Idahosa University, Benin City, Edo State.

Ebube alleged further that Stella Okotete as an undergraduate had carry overs in four courses which she did not retake. The University upon discovery did not approve of her graduation from the institution, adding that the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) certificate presented by Okotete was fake.

However, a Police action plan has been instituted to investigate the series of allegations against Okotete. The action plan cited on Friday Reads “Re: Case of Criminal Conspiracy, Offense to Wit: Falsification of Documents, Fraudulent Misrepresentation of Qualification to Hold CBN’S Statutory Position, Corrupt Practice, Monumental Fraud and Misappropriation,” the police authority ordered for discreet investigation of the allegations.

The police investigation plan partly read: “The petition was endorsed to the DIG FCIID Abuja via letter No. CB:7000/IGP SEC/AB)/VOL.613/ 312 dated 23/01/2023 and re-endorsed to the CP GI Section via letter No. CB: 7000/X/FHQ/ABJ/VOL.592/85 dated 03/02/2023 for discreet investigation”.

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