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CACOL accuses ICPC of shoddy handling of Gwarzo’s case

The Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership (CACOL) has accused the Independent Corrupt Practices and Related Offences Commission (ICPC) of adopting a piecemeal approach in prosecuting the suspended Director General of the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC), Mounir Gwarzo, by not prosecuting him on all the allegations levelled against him by government.

It therefore charged the newly appointed chairman of the commission, Professor Abiodun Owasanoye, to ensure that all allegations brought against the suspended Director General were not swept under the carpet.

The Centre, in a petition addressed to the President Mohammad Buhari signed by its Executive Chairman, Debo Adeniran, stated that ICPC’s thorough investigation of the allegations and ensuring that justice is done would further give vent to the present administration’s commitment to the fight against corruption, especially given the perceived official excesses and acts of corruption allegedly perpetrated by the suspended SEC’s Director General.

CACOL had in November 2017 drawn the attention of the Federal Government and the public to large scale office abuses and gross official recklessness on the part of Gwarzo, including alleged anti-establishment manipulations to enrich himself through acts that are at variance with civil service rules and regulations.

Apparently miffed by the commission’s delay in pursuing the case, the group is now accusing it of a plot to ensure Gwarzo is set free by the court.

CACOL stated: “The matter was taken from the EFCC and handed over to the ICPC. Rather than the ICPC charging Gwarzo for the two infractions based on the two verified allegations levelled against him, the ICPC chose to bring him before the FCT High Court in Abuja for only one infraction.

“Perhaps more surprisingly, it would appear the investigator, one Taiwo Olorunyomi was merely in court to validate the appropriateness of Mr. Gwarzo paying himself gratuity while still in service and challenging the evidence put together by the very Commission (ICPC) he is working for .

The group therefore called on the new Chairman of the commission to immediately order a probe into the matter while urging President Buhari to intervene decisively in unearthing the issues raised with strict compliance with the rule of law.

It would be recalled that Gwarzo was alleged to have paid himself a princely sum of N104 million upon resumption of duty as Director General. He claimed the money was his severance package as Executive Commissioner, which was his position in the commission before he was appointed by former President Goodluck Jonathan to head SEC in 2015.

Other allegations against Gwarzo as contained in the petition include that “Mr. Gwarzo and two of his relatives are Directors of Outbound Investment Ltd. (the Company). Since Mr. Gwarzo assumed office as Director General 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 United Bank for Africa Plc, with account number 1016723428.

“In addition, the Company has executed more contracts for the Commission which are not listed in Appendix B1, however these contracts can be verified from the Commission’s accounting records.”, the group alleged.

 

 

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