BREAKING NEWS

Probe panel asks FG to dismiss suspended SEC DG, Gwarzo

Mounir-Gwarzo

The Administrative Panel of Inquiry, which was set up in November last year to investigate corruption allegations against the suspended Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Mr. Mounir Gwarzo, has recommended the sacking of the embattled DG from public service.

The panel, which is headed by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Finance, Mahmoud Isa-Dutse, was set up by the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun.

In the recommendation, which was sighted by our correspondent in Abuja, the committee also suggested that the suspended DG should refund the sum of N104.85m, which he allegedly approved and received as severance package while still in office.

The panel also recommended that Gwarzo be referred to the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission for further investigation of the allegation of using his position as SEC DG to influence the award of contracts to Outbound Investments Limited.

In the report, which has already been submitted to the finance minister, it was recommended that the holding of the position of the DG of SEC as well as a director in two private companies (Medusa Investment Limited and Outbound Investments Limited) was in breach of public service rules 030424 and 030402 and Section 6 of the Investment and Securities Act, 2007.

The panel stated in its report, “Mr. Mounir Gwarzo should be referred to the ICPC for further investigation of the allegation of using his position as director-general to influence the award of contracts to Outbound Investments Limited in view of the provisions of Sections 57 (12) (b) and 58 (5) of the Public Procurement Act, 2007.

“Gwarzo should be dismissed from the public service of the Federal Government, in line with the PSR 030402 (in relation to the allegation on golden handshake), having breached paragraphs 313 and 316(4) of the Financial Regulations (Government Notice No. 219 of October 27, 2009) (engaging in extra-budgetary expenditure without appropriate approval).

“Should be discharged on the allegations of award of contracts to Medusa Investments Limited; award of contracts to other companies as mentioned in paragraph 5.1.1 and to which no relationship with Mr. Mounir Gwarzo was sufficiently established.”

However, the panel recommended that the cases of two management officers of the commission, Mrs. Anastasia Braimoh and Mr. Abdulsalam Naif, be referred to SEC for appropriate disciplinary action in line with the provisions of the staff manual of the commission.

The panel advised the Federal Government to re-orientate public servants to the very fact that the public service rules and financial regulations were ground norms of every government service contract, be it at the federal, state or local government level.

“Accordingly, all government extra-ministerial departments and agencies should be made to understand that the PSR and FR are superior to whatever specific legislation and domestic arrangements that guide their operations, except when such issues are not covered by any provision of the PSR,” it added.

Meanwhile, Adeosun and Gwarzo clashed on Tuesday over the legality of the suspension of the latter by the former.

The minister and Gwarzo had appeared before the House of Representatives Committee on Capital Market and Institutions at the National Assembly in Abuja.

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