Bourse boss chided for raising almost US $1m illegally in Obama’s name

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Weighing in on the controversy over the fund raising in Nigeria for Barack Obama’s campaign organisation, the country’s main opposition Action Congress (AC) party Sunday asked the woman behind the fund raising to step down from her post as the Director-General of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).

The voluble Dr. Ndi Okereke-Onyuike led the ‘Africans for Obama’ campaign that raised 100 million naira (US$847,457) for the Obama campaign organisation last week.

But amid condemnations of the fund raiser, believed to be illegal since the US law forbids foreign donations to US politicians, the Obama campaign has distanced itself from the fund raising.

Also Nigeria’s anti-graft Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has invited Dr. Okereke-Onyuike for questioning, while her passport has been seized to prevent her from travelling out.

In a statement issued in the capital city of Abuja Sunday, AC said her resignation would ”save the organisation from the possible negative impact of her growing acts of indiscretion”.

The party also catalogued what it called the series of missteps by the NSE DG, ”including her recent misadventure in engaging in an illegal fund raising for the US Democratic Party presidential candidate Barack Obama; her potentially-conflicting roles as the NSE DG and the Chairperson of (Nigerian conglomerate) Transcorp and her fund raising, under the umbrella of ‘Corporate Nigeria’, for the re-election of former President Olusegun Obasanjo during the 2003 elections”.

AC said by leveraging her post as the NSE DG to engage in the illegal fund raising for Obama’s campaign, Dr. Okereke-Onyuike could eventually make enemies for Nigeria.

“While there is nothing wrong in any Nigerian showing or expressing support for any of the candidates for the US presidential election, it becomes a different ball game when such a person is a public or quasi-public official, whose interest could be misconstrued as an indication of the government’s thinking,” it said.

The party expressed the hope that Dr. Okereke-Onyuike’s ‘acts of indiscretion’ were not part of the reasons for the downturn in the fortunes of the Nigerian bourse in recent times Panapress.

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