Sunday, December 5, 2021

Court acquits ex-SEC boss, Munir Gwarzo, says ICPC failed to prove case against him

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Rayyan Alhassanhttps://dailynigerian.com/author/rayyan/
Rayyan Alhassan is a graduate of Journalism and Mass Communication at Sikkim Manipal University, Ghana. He is the acting Managing Editor at the Daily Nigerian newspaper, a position he has held for the past 3 years. He can be reached via [email protected], or www.facebook.com/RayyanAlhassan, or @Rayyan88 on Twitter.
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An FCT High Court in Maitama presided by Olukayode Adeniyi on Friday discharged and acquitted Mounir Gwarzo, former director-general of the Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC.

Ruling on a no-case submission filed by Mr Gwarzo, the judge said the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC, failed to prove its case against him.

The ICPC had preferred a six-count charge against Mr Gwarzo in 2020 for allegedly awarding several contracts to Outbound Investment Limited, a private company where he allegedly doubled as a director even while he was DG of SEC.

But Mr Gwarzo filed a no-case submission after the prosecution closed its case.

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Recall that the then minister of finance, Kemi Adeosun, had suspended Mr Gwarzo as the DG of SEC in November 2017 for allegedly approving N104 million for himself as severance package for being a former SEC commissioner.

He was also accused of awarding contracts to members of his family and friends, in violation of the rules guiding the commission.

In May 2019, Mr Gwarzo won a case at the national industrial court, which ordered his reinstatement as SEC DG.

In his ruling, Justice Sanusi Kado held that the minister of finance, who is the second defendant in the suit, lacked the power to suspend Mr Gwarzo, even as he dismissed three issues raised by defence counsel through their preliminary objection.

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But despite the court order, the federal government refused to reinstate him.

He resigned voluntarily on January 9, 2020.

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