Suspended Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission Mounir Gwarzo’s battle to regain his position has some way to go.
The Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) has indicated its intentions to appeal a judgment j which cleared Gwarzo and Zakawanu Garba of all charges.
The commission disclosed this in a statement posted on its website.
ICPC IS DISSATISFIED WITH THE JUDGMENT ON THE GROUNDS THAT THE BOARD RESOLUTION THE TRIAL JUDGE RELIED ON DID NOT DECIDE SEVERANCE BENEFIT BUT RETIREMENT AND RESIGNATION BENEFIT. THE NOTICE OF APPEAL WILL BE FILED VERY SOON.
The court in a judgment granted this week upheld the No Case Submission of the defendants on the grounds that the prosecution had failed to prove the elements of the offence in that the Board of SEC was the highest authority in SEC and had by resolution approved the severance benefit and the car grant.
Furthermore, the duo were discharged and acquited of all charges.
How it all began
Mounir Gwarzo was suspended by Kemi Adeosun in November 2017 for alleged financial impropriety.
Gwarzo is accused of collecting a severance package of a N104 million, despite advice from SEC’s legal department not to do so, since he was still in the employ of the commission. Prior to his appointment as Director-General of the commission in 2015, Gwarzo was an Executive Director.
The acting head of the legal department had objected to the offer since severance packages were meant for officials who have disengaged from an organization.
The Director-General was also accused of awarding contracts to companies controlled by wife and brother.
What happened next?
An Administrative Panel of Inquiry set up to look into the allegations leveled against the suspended Director-General revealed financial misappropriation and abuse of office.
Gwarzo, however, claimed he was suspended and being witch-hunted for refusing to halt the forensic audit conducted into the affairs of Oando Plc.
Kemi Adeosun insisted that Gwarzo’s suspension was a result of allegations of his misconduct, and was in order to protect the sanctity of the capital market.