31 January 2018

Nigeria: Why Gwarzo Was Suspended As Director-General of SEC - Adeosun

Abuja and Lagos — The Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, yesterday justified the decision to suspend the Director General of the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC), Mr. Munir Gwarzo saying it was aimed at instilling investors' confidence in the security market.

Testifying before the Tajudeen Yusuf-led committee probing the conflict between her and Gwarzo, she explained that the decision was taken after he was found wanting by an administrative panel of breaching public service rules.

Adeosun disclosed that an unidentified whistle blower actually triggered Gwarzo's probe, a claim, which Gwarzo faulted but rather said he was suspended due to his refusal to stop the forensic audit of Oando Oil Plc listed on the stock exchange.

The dismissal recommendation is contained in a report by the panel headed by the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Finance, Dr. Mahmoud Isa Dutse.

Adeosun who promised to submit the report of the administrative board of enquiry today to President Muhammadu Buhari alleged that Gwarzo lied about his status in two privately owned firms -Medusa and Outband based on findings from Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).

According to her: "He attested that he had resigned in 2012 while CAC was still showing he was a director and shareholder. He didn't get other evidence. So we now went to bank records and found that Gwarzo remained a signatory to that account. We had ten evidence of banking transactions where he signed as director."

On allegation that she suspended Gwarzo due to the decision to conduct forensic probe of Oando, she said there was no iota of truth in the claim adding such probe was still in progress.

Gwarzo who in his testimony maintained that his suspension was in connection with the extant provision of the Investment and Securities Act guiding SEC, claimed that he must have been suspended because he refused to yield to pressure exerted on him by the minister not to conduct forensic audit of Oando Plc.

He further argued that the decision to bring him to trial to face an administrative panel of enquiry was against the provision of Section 36 (1) of the Constitution, adding it was an abuse of ministerial powers.

On the payment of his severance package, he said it was not abnormal since his predecessors in office also did same to themselves in line with the rules guiding SEC.

Gwarzo said he actually tendered his resignation to the firms traceable to him, adding it must have been a mistake on the side of the company secretary not to have acted accordingly.


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