CACOL Defends Corruption Petition Against Suspended SEC DG

December 5, 2017

By Dipo Olowookere

A non-political, non-religious, and non-profit making organization, Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership (CACOL), which filed a petition to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) against the suspended Director General of Securities and Exchange Commission, Mr Mournir Haliru Gwarzo, has visited the anti-graft agency to defend its allegations against the SEC boss.

A statement signed on Monday by the Executive Chairman of CACOL, Comrade Debo Adeniran, disclosed that the visit was sequel to an invitation to the group by the EFCC on the petition of corruption levelled against Mr Gwarzo.

It was gathered that Mr Adeniran spent about an hour at the EFCC’s office in Abuja, where he met with the Head of investigating team at the Capital Market Unit of the EFCC.

“We responded to the invitation of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC today (Monday) to adopt (defend) our petition against Mr Gwarzo.

“We are delighted that the EFCC responded promptly, and is enthusiastic to investigate the subject of our petition. We intend to follow through with this process and we will not be distracted by all the attempts by Mr Gwarzo and his cronies to make us back down drawing on absurd and unconnected straws to whip up sentiment in the media.

“Those who know us know we do not just take up a cause, when we do, we are tenacious in our pursuit and we approach our campaigns with independence of mind,” the CACOL boss was quoted as saying in the statement.

Mr Adeniran further disclosed that the allegations against Mr Gwarzo have been before various people in government for months unattended to until CACOL took up the issue.

“We commend the Finance Minister, Mrs Kemi Adeosun for the courage to take the issue up after others have looked the other way for months. We urge her to be steadfast in the face of various attempts to blackmail her into dropping the investigations into the allegations.

“If she musters the tenacity to follow through on this investigation as she did with fighting the cabal behind the ghost workers who almost bled the nation to death with false wage bills, then history would be kind to her,” he said.

Comrade Adeniran further disclosed that even as CACOL was preparing to make its defence appearance before the EFCC, it has just received more mind boggling documents relating to various corrupt practices by the Mr Gwarzo.

It will be recalled that the organization, CACOL, petitioned President Muhammadu Buhari, the Senate President, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the relevant Committees in the Senate and House of Representatives and the various anti-corruption agencies to order a thorough audit of the finances of the Commission under Mr Gwarzo following the allegations of corruption.

The DG is alleged to have engaged in series of anti-establishment manipulations to enrich himself through acts that are at variance with civil service rules and regulations.

It was alleged that Mr Gwarzo has been running SEC as his personal business and appoints companies with links to him and some of his cronies in office as contractors who provide services to the Commission.

Some of the companies listed to have links with Mr Gwarzo, his wife and other cronies are: Outbound Investment Ltd, RC NO. 807317; Medusa Investments Limited, RC NO. 326829; Northwind Environmental Services. REG NO BN2389176; and Micro-Technologies LTD RC NO. 173805.

Others are Tida International Ltd RC NO. 26414; Outlook Communications; AcromacNig Ltd RC NO. 10687864; Balfort International Investment Ltd RC NO. 109153; and Interactiven Worldwide Nigeria Ltd RC NO. 779442.

On January 2, 2013, Mr Gwarzo was appointed an Executive Commissioner in the Securities and Exchange Commission for a four-year tenure. Before the expiration of the four-year deal, Mr Gwarzo was elevated as the Director General of the Commission on May 22, 2015.

But consequent upon resumption of office as the Director General of SEC, Mr Gwarzo ordered the payment of a severance benefit to himself to the tune of N104.9 million.

Comrade Adeniran restated the call on President Muhammadu Buhari to take immediate steps to constitute a Board for the Securities and Exchange Commission as provided for in the extant laws establishing the Commission.

“The Investment and Securities Act (ISA) 2007 which gives the Commission its current powers also made a provision for the appointment of a nine (9) member Board to be headed by a Chairman. The idea of the Board is to, amongst other things, ensure that no Director General of the Commission can become a law onto himself or herself and act without appropriate checks by the Board” President Buhari must ensure this is done without further delay,” he said.

Considering the high probability of atrocities being committed unchecked under the present circumstance in which the SEC has functioned without a Board, CACOL called on President Muhammadu Buhari through the Finance Minister to order a thorough audit of the finances of the Commission and penalize everyone found guilty of fraudulent activities.

Dipo Olowookere

Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan.

Mr Olowookere can be reached via [email protected]

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