Eniola Akinkuotu, Abuja
The Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission has completed investigations into the suspended Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Mr. Mounir Gwarzo, The PUNCH can report.
It was learnt that Gwarzo’s case file had been forwarded to the legal department of the ICPC for further action.
The legal department of the commission is expected to either file charges against the suspended SEC boss or recommend that the case be closed if there is not enough evidence.
The spokesperson for the ICPC, Mrs. Rasheedat Okoduwa, told our correspondent on Monday that the case file had indeed been sent to the legal department.
She, however, said she would not speak further on the case but would allow the legal department to do its job.
Okoduwa said, “I can confirm that the investigations into the SEC DG regarding his activities at the exchange commission have been completed. The case file has also been sent to the legal department for further action. That is all I can say for now.”
Gwarzo, who was recently recommended for dismissal by the panel set up by the Ministry of Finance, is accused of perpetrating several acts of corruption.
The other officials suspended alongside Gwarzo include the Head of Media Division, Mr. Abdulsalam Naif and the Head of Legal Department, Mrs. Anastasia Braimoh.
The suspended SEC boss allegedly paid a severance allowance of over N104m to himself less than a month after assuming office.
He also allegedly awarded contracts to some firms he had interests in or firms owned by his relatives and cronies.
The firms include: Outbound Investment Limited, Medusa Investment Limited, Northwind Environmental Services, Micro-Technologies Nigeria Limited, Tida International Limited, Outlook Communication, Acromac Nigeria Limited, Balfort International Limited and Interactive Worldwide Nigeria Limited.
In one of the petitions written against Gwarzo, it was alleged that one of the companies, Outbound Investment Limited, is owned by the suspended SEC boss while another firm, Medusa Investment Limited, is jointly owned by Gwarzo and his wife, Khadija.
The petition partly read, “Mr. Gwarzo and two of his relatives are directors of Outbound Investment Limited. Since Mr. Gwarzo resumed office as the DG of the commission, the company has been the sole supplier of diesel to the commission.
“The company has also supplied air conditioners to the Lagos zonal office of the commission as well as supplied fridges to the commission. Payments made by the commission to the company for contracts executed can be verified from the company’s bank account held with account number 1016723428.
“Mr. Gwarzo is also the Director of Medusa Investment Limited. The only other director of the company is Khadija Mustapher, who is also his wife. The company has actively been used to carry out illegal transactions through the company’s bank account with Guaranty Trust Bank with number 0023953920.”
In the petition which has been sent to the House of Representatives, Gwarzo was accused of diverting money from the commission under the pretext that he was organising staff training.
Some shell companies which lacked the requisite expertise were said to have been paid bogus sums of money for the trainings.
The petitioner added, “Prior to Mr. Gwarzo’s tenure, the commission used to pay between the sums of N60,000 to N150,000 to reputable training providers such as the Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, Nigerian Institute of Management, Financial Institutions Training Centre, Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, Lagos Business School and Centre for Management Development to train members of staff of the commission.”
“However, when Mr. Gwarzo assumed office of SEC DG, he commenced paying sums ranging from N700,000 to N780,000 per staff (sic) as training fee to training institutions owned by his friends and associates.”
The suspended SEC DG has, however, denied the allegations levelled against him, insisting that he is being persecuted by the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, for his refusal to stop forensic audit of Oando Plc.
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