ICPC Arraigns Gwarzo Over Alleged Funds Diversion

The Independent Corrupt Practices and other related Offences Commission (ICPC) has arraigned the suspended Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Mounir Gwarzo, before a Federal Capital Territory High Court sitting in Maitama.

He is arraigned on charges bordering on criminal breach of trust and aiding diversion of funds.

The anti-graft commission also preferred charges against the SEC Executive Commissioner, Corporate Services, Zakwanu Garuba, for allegedly conniving with Gwarzo to commit the fraud.

Gwarzo and his co-defendant, Zakawani Garba during court proceedings on Tuesday entered a not guilty plea to the five-count charge of criminal breach of trust and aiding and a baring diversion of funds as severance benefits to Mr Gwarzo while he was still in the service as Director General.

The two defendants are being charged to court by the ICPC on behalf of the Federal Government.

It would be recalled that Mounir Haliru Gwarzo following his suspension as the Director General of the Nigerian Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) by the Minister of Finance, on 27th November 2017, had filed charges at the Nigerian Industrial Court against the following parties;

  1. The Securities & Exchange Commission  [SEC];
  2. Kemi Adeosun (Mrs) (The Honourable Minister of Finance); and
  3. The Attorney General of the Federation

He is seeking determination of the following:

  1. Whether the 2nddefendant has the power(s) to suspend him as Director-General, Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC), whose appointment was by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and confirmed by the Senate in accordance with section 5(1) & (2) of the Investments and Securities Act 2007. Therefore, his purported suspension as Director-General, Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC), by the 2nd defendant is illegal, unconstitutional, unlawful, and ulra vires the powers of the 2nd defendant.
  2.  Whether the purported suspension as Director-General, Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) by the 2nddefendant vide a letter of suspension dated 29thNovember, 2017, signed by the 2nd defendant was in compliance with section 8(1) & (2) of the Investments and Securities Act 2007;
  3. Whether the public service rules relied upon by the 2nddefendant to suspend him as Director-General, Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) is applicable to persons holding the office of Director-General, Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC);
  4. Whether the administrative panel of enquiry set up by the 2nd defendant was properly constituted to be fair and impartial. Therefore, that the administrative panel of inquiry set up by the 2nd defendant after his suspension is biased, partial and against the principles of natural justice and that the report of the panel should be set aside in its entirety and the public service rules relied upon by the 2nddefendant in suspending him are not applicable to a person holding the office of Director-General, Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC).

He is therefore asking the courts to set aside the report of the Administrative Panel of Inquiry, set aside his suspension, re-instate him and the payment of all his allowances and emoluments due to him from the 1st defendant from the date of his purported suspension to date.

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