Group urges Buhari to urgently arraign SEC DG, Gwarzo

Director-General, SEC, Mr. Munir Gwarzo

Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership (CACOL) has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to, as a matter of urgency, direct the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) to charge the former Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Mounir Gwarzo, on the abuse of office by the award of contracts to his companies as well as being a director in these companies against the public service rule.

The group also urged the newly sworn-in Chairman, Bolaji Owasanoye, to probe the alleged high-level corruption against Gwarzo. The group, which made the call in a statement by its Executive Chairman, Debo Adeniran, said that in a strange twist, the matter seems to be compromised by charging him for only one infraction leaving out the most serious infraction.

CACOL, therefore, appealed to the ICPC chairman to immediately order a probe into the matter, urging him to reassign the case to another team within the agency. The group had alleged that the Administrative Panel of Inquiry recommended that the holding of the position of the Director General of SEC as well as directorship in two private companies (Medusa Investment Limited and Outbound Investments Limited) by Gwarzo was in breach of public service rules 030424 and 030402 and Section 6 of the Investment and Securities Act, 2007.

In addition, the panel also recommended that Gwarzo should be referred to ICPC for further investigation of the allegation of using his position as Director General to award contracts to the above mentioned companies in view of the provisions of Sections 57 (12) (b) and 58 (5) of the Public Procurement Act, 2007.

The allegations made against Gwarzo as well as the findings made by the Administrative Panel of Inquiry set up by the former Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, point to the likely contravention of Section 19 of the ICPC Act, 2000. It provides as follows: “Any public officer who uses his office or position to gratify or confer any corrupt or unfair advantage upon himself or any relation or associate of the public officer or any other public officer shall be guilty of an offence and shall, on conviction, be liable to imprisonment for five years without option of fine.”