Mounir Gwarzo SEC DG, Two Others Suspended for Financial Impropriety

Mounir Gwarzo, Suspended Director General of Nigeria’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)
Mounir Gwarzo, Suspended Director General of Nigeria’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)

Mounir Gwarzo, the director general (DG) of the Securities and Exchange Commission, (SEC) was  on Wednesday suspended from office by Kemi Adeosun, minister of finance for alleged financial impropriety levelled against him.

A statement by Patricia Deworitshe, deputy director, Press, Federal Ministry of Finance said the suspension was in line with the Public Service Rules (PSRs) 03405 and 03406.

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According to the statement, the suspension would enable allow for an unhindered investigation of the multiple allegations of financial impropriety levelled against Gwarzo and two other management staff of the Commission.

The two other staff suspended from SEC are Abdulsalam Naif Habu, head of Media Division and Anastasia Omozele Braimoh, head of Legal Department – who have been alleged to engage in financial impropriety in the Commission.

“The Honourable Minister has set up an Administrative Panel of Inquiry (API) to investigate and determine the culpability of the Director-General.

“She has directed the suspended SEC Director-General to immediately handover to the most senior officer at the Commission, pending the conclusion of investigation by the API, the statement added.

This is coming on the heels of a report by Sahara Reporters exposing how Gwarzo illegally paid himself severance benefit and awarded contracts to his companies.

According to the report, Gwarzo has perpetrated a variety of fraudulent activities since his appointment by former President Goodluck Jonathan for a first term of five years on May 22, 2015. Prior to being appointed successor to Ms. Aruma Otteh as SEC DG, he was an executive commissioner of the Commission.

The report says signs of Gwarzo’s crooked ways manifested almost immediately he resumed as DG. Documents exclusively obtained by SaharaReporters showed that on May 26 2015, four days after receiving his letter of appointment, he requested that he be paid the sum of N104.8 million as severance package in respect of the end of his appointment as executive commissioner, a position he occupied for two years and four months.