The controversies around a President Bola Tinubu’s ministerial nominee and the Executive Director (Business Development), Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM), Mrs. Stella Erhuvwu Okotete, seem to be growing as a civic group, Volunteer Legal Practitioners Foundation for Morals and Values has written to the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB), demanding an investigation of her alleged non-declaration of assets and operating of companies while in active service.
They said this is in violation of the 5th schedule of the 1999 Constitution as amended.
The group made this demand in a letter dated July 31, 2023, addressed to the Chairman CCB, Prof. Mohammad Isah, and titled: “Petition against Stella Erhuvwu Okotete- the Executive Director (Business Development), NEXIM Bank and ministerial nominee.”
Signed by Ifeanyichukwu Obasi-Nweze, the group stated that they are a public policy advocacy group committed to upholding the morals and values of public officers and Nigerian Citizenry, in addition to the laws and Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The civic organisation, which opposed the nomination of Okotete for ministerial appointment stated that she refused to declare her assets as required by law since she was appointed in 2015 as Executive Director of Nexim Bank, adding that in 2022 when she was already in violation, she surreptitiously smuggled in a purported declaration of assets to CCB.
The letter already acknowledged by CCB which was sighted on Monday, partly read: “We petitioned against Stella Erhuvwu Okotete to the Code of Conduct Bureau for investigation for nondeclaration of assets and operating of companies while in active service in violation of the 5th schedule of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“In our petition dated 28th July 2022 and addressed to the Chairman Code of Conduct Bureau, we stated that Stella Erhuvwu Okotete refused to declare her assets as required by law since she was appointed in 2015 as the Executive Director (Business as Development), Nexim Bank; she surreptitiously smuggled in a purporting declaration of assets in 2022 when she was already in violation, and after she became aware that she was under investigation; even at that, the purporting declaration is far from listing her illegal acquisitions, both personal and by proxies.
“Attached herewith is the copy of the petition to the Code of Conduct Bureau dated 28 July 2022.”
It added, “Presently she is a ministerial nominee waiting to be screened by the senate, hence our petition to you. The Code of Conduct Bureau is the conscience of the Nigerian society and can also ensure that only persons of proven integrity are allowed to steer the ship of leadership in our present-day Nigeria cannot be over-emphasized. We make bold to say that Stella Erhuvwu Okotete is not such a person to be considered for ministerial appointment.
“Given this, we implore you to use your good offices to act immediately on this petition and inform the Senate during the plenary for the distinguished Senators to disqualify Stella Erhuvwu Okotete for running afoul of the law.”