Reps uphold Gwarzo suspension as SEC DG

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The House of Representatives yesterday said the suspension of the former Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Mounir Gwarzo stands.

The House, while adopting the report of its Committee on Capital Market and Institutions headed by Rep Tajuddeen Ayo Yusuf (PDP, Kogi) said Gwarzo indeed has a case to answer and that the Minister of Finance Kemi Adeosun was right to have suspended him.

Based on petitions by various stakeholders, the House said, the committee has been mandated to conduct an investigation into Oando Plc.

Also, the lawmakers said the two staff of SEC, Mrs Anastacia Braimoh and Naif Abdulsalam should be recalled from suspension and should report to their duty posts immediately.

Their recall, the House said, is based on the Public Service Rules and the SEC Staff Manual.

However, the House said the case of the two staff should be referred to the SEC management for disciplinary action in accordance with the commission’s staff manual.

The chairman of the committee, Yusuf, while briefing his colleagues on the panel’s findings, said there were allegations that Gwarzo was a director in a private company despite his being the head of SEC.

He said although Gwarzo said he had resigned his position in the said company long ago, documents the panel obtained from the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) showed that he remained a director of the company. He said there were other discoveries that the panel made in the course of its investigation into the matter.

Gwarzo was suspended by the minister in November last year, citing petitions of corrupt practices and breaches of the public service rules. Suspended alongside the DG were two staff of the commission, Braimo and Abdulsalam.

There had been disagreements between Adeosun and Gwarzo, who accused the minister of interfering in the commission’s functions by directing him to stop a planned forensic audit of Oando Nigeria Plc, following allegations of malfeasance against the oil company.

The minister had in January told the House panel that she recommended Gwarzo’s sack to President Muhammadu Buhari over conflicts of interests and breach of the public service rules.

 

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