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More Trouble For President Tinubu’s Ministerial Nominee, Stella Okotete As Fresh Petition Against Her Emerges

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In a fresh twist, another petition has emerged against President Bola Tinubu’s ministerial nominee, Stella Erhuvwu Okotete.

Naija News reports that in less than one week since Okotete made the ministerial list; this is the second petition that has erupted about her.

This platform reported last week that the Nigeria Police Force ordered a secret investigation of Okotete, who is a former Executive Director of Nigeria Export-Import Bank (NEXIM), over alleged falsification of documents and monumental fraud

Okotete’s name was part of the first batch of 28 ministerial nominees submitted to the Senate by the President.

It was, however, gathered that about 24 hours after the unveiling of the ministerial list, Barrister Aare Oladotun Hassan Esq of Juryman Associate Chamber filed a petition against Okotete to the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Kayode Egbetokun.

The petition, as learned by this platform, bothered over the alleged falsification of documents, fraudulent misrepresentation of qualification to hold the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN’s) statutory position, corrupt practice, monumental fraud, and misappropriation.

Similarly, another petition has been written to the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB), demanding an investigation of her alleged non-declaration of assets and operation of companies while in active service.

The petition was written by the civic group Volunteer Legal Practitioners Foundation for Morals and Values.

The group said her alleged action violates the 5th schedule of the 1999 Constitution as amended.

The group, in a letter 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,” was signed by Ifeanyichukwu Obasi-Nweze, and dated July 31, 2023.

According to SaharaReporters, the letter has been acknowledged by the Bureau.

The petitioners said 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 secretly smuggled in a purported declaration of assets to CCB.

The letter, which SaharaReporters sighted, 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.

“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.”