Organised Labour yesterday raised the alarm over plans by the Federal Government to reinstate the Director General, Security and Exchange Commission (SEC), Mr. Mounir Gwarzo, currently on suspension for corruption charges.
The Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN), in a statement on Tuesday, warned that reinstating the suspected Director General will further dent the anti-graft war of the present administration.
The ASCSN State Secretary in charge of the Federal Capital Territory, Isaac Ojemhenke, posited that feelers from the Presidency indicate that President Muhammadu Buhari was under intense pressure from some members of his inner cabinet to recall the former SEC Director General, assuring him that even if there was going to be an outcry, it would soon fizzle out like the case of the Executive Secretary, National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Prof. Usman Yusuf, who was reinstated despite being indicted for corruption.
“But what the cabal does not seem to understand is that the impression being created in the minds of millions of Nigerians with the policy of recalling chief executives and other top government officials enmeshed in financial malpractices is that the war against corruption is a ruse.
“It is necessary to recall that Gwarzo was suspended after a properly constituted administrative panel set up by the Finance Minister, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, found him culpable of financial impropriety,” the union emphasised.
According to ASCSN, apart from the fact that the SEC Director General approved and paid himself a humongous sum of N104 million as severance benefit while still serving as Director General of SEC, he was also involved in other financial scams such as compelling the Commission to be awarding contracts to companies he was still serving as director.
It added that this type of action was a gross violation of Public Service Rules, Financial Regulations, and other extant government guidelines dealing with conducts of public officers.
“By planning to reinstate the SEC Director General, the government is creating the impression that Gwarzo is indispensable, even when the Commission has continued to function since his absence.
“There are many qualified Nigerians that are capable of performing excellently in such exalted positions so why should the government continue to reinstate individuals with character deficit into strategic offices,” the union wondered.
It warned that the policy of recalling individuals with corrupt acts hanging on their necks into public service was fuelling the culture of impunity in the country.
“The danger is that the public is beginning to think that once you are in the good books of President Buhari, you will be rewarded for engaging in corrupt acts. This is very unfortunate and should be stopped.
“We recall the attempt to smuggle the former Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Pension Reforms, Abdulkareem Maina, who was dismissed from service because of N2.7 billion pension frauds, into the public service but for public outcry,” the union emphasised.