Since the suspension of Mr Mounir Gwarzo, Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission of Nigeria, the House of Representatives through its Capital Market and Other Institutions Committee as directed held its investigative hearing today at the National Assembly, Abuja.
In attendance were the Honourable Minister for Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, Acting Director-General, SEC Nigeria Dr Abdul Zubair and suspended Director-General, SEC Nigeria Mr Mounir Gwarzo.
It was an opportunity for the Finance Minister and Suspended SEC DG to make their submissions and statements over the development.
Mr Mounir Gwarzo in his statement under oath denied the allegations levelled against him on the conflict of interest from companies like Outbound Investments and Medusa.
He also said the severance package he collected after serving as an Executive Commissioner before his appointment as Director-General, were in line with the laid down provisions of the commission.
Gwarzo believed his suspension by the Minister for Finance was linked to the “Forensic Investigation” that the commission was carrying out on a listed company Oando Plc.
Making her submission also under oath, Mrs Adeosun said the decision to suspend Mr Gwarzo was in line with the mandate of the Finance Ministry and guided by the Public Service Rules, to ensure the protection of the Nigerian capital market ecosystem and investments in the country.
The Finance Minister who answered questions from the Hon Tajudeen Yusuf led committee, said the report from the Administrative Panel of Inquiry investigations into allegations against the suspended Director-General, was ready and will be submitted to the President.
She said the regulation of the capital market required people that were fit and proper, hence the need for the action on Mr Gwarzo following the documents received from the Whistleblowing Unit in the Finance Ministry which affirmed the allegations of conflicts of interest with companies like Outbound investments and Medusa.
Adeosun acknowledged the challenge of no substantive board for the Securities and Exchange Commission, stating that the issue is being worked on.
At the moment the Ministry of Finance in the absence of a board, is performing the supervisory role over SEC Nigeria, which is the premise for the suspension of Mr Gwarzo.
The Minister denied the allegations by Mr Gwarzo that she had vested interests in Oando Plc, saying that the Ministry had never interfered in the affairs of the Commission, and said categorically that the issue on ground was about the conduct of Mr Mounir Gwarzo, as the DG of one of the key regulatory bodies in the country.