SEC scandal: Documents that indicted Gwarzo

Racheal Ishaya

The documents received by the Administrative Panel of Inquiry (API) have reinforced the claim that the suspended Director-General, Securities and Exchange Committee (SEC), Mounir Gwarzo,  was a director  in two private companies.

Suspended Director-General, Securities and Exchange Committee (SEC), Mounir Gwarzo

The 18 page documents obtained by our correspondent showed that Gwarzo was indeed a director and shareholder at Medusa Investments Limited and Outbound Investment Limited.

According to the panel haired by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Finance, Mr Mahmoud Isa-Dutse, the documents formed the bases of their conclusion that Gwarzo should be sacked.

The documents also highlighted some of the exorbitant extra-budgetary expenditures he had undertaken as Director-General of SEC.

The 18 page documents contained evidences of extra budgetary spending, payments made by SEC to companies owned by Gwarzo as well as other Corporate Affairs Commission registration documents.

One of the document indicated that when the investigative panel was first set up, Gwarzo submitted a letter to the panel, proving that upon his appointment as DG SEC, he resigned as a director of these companies.

The letter he submitted, which NAN has a copy, showed that he had written a letter of resignation as director of Medusa Investments Limited dated 19th December, 2012.

However upon investigation by the panel, it discovered that actions taken by the former SEC boss in 2015 and 2016 negated his letter of resignation as a director in Medusa Investments Limited (MIL).

According to bank documents, Gwarzo who was supposed to have resigned, had written a Bank branch in Wuse, Abuja on July 24, 2015, requesting for change of account officer.

His letter to the bank was signed in his name as a director of Medusa Investments Limited using the letter-headed paper of the company.

Furthermore, the suspended SEC Director-General on August 16, 2016, requested for Naira Mastercards to be issued on Medusa Investments Limited’s account for himself and one Khadijat Gwarzo.

The request, conveyed by a board resolution of Medusa Investments Limited was signed by Mounir Gwarzo and Khadijat Mustapha.

There were also bank statements that showed payments of over N30 million made to Outbound Investment Ltd from SEC between April 2015 and March 2017 for diesel supplies.

Another document obtained by our correspondent showed the payment of N1.7 billion in 2015 to 44 Directors of SEC in a retirement bonus scheme that was tagged “Golden Handshake” but not captured in the budget of that year.

Scanning through the 2015 budget of SEC showed that although there were 18 items that covered staff emoluments such as salaries, productivity bonus, furniture allowances, children school fees allowance and many more, the retirement bonus was not part of it.

The benefit, which was titled “2015 Golden Handshake’’ showed that the some of the directors were paid as low as N6 million while some others got as high as between N60 million and N85 million.

For example, one of the beneficiaries, who retired as a Director, was paid N85.31 million as retirement benefit.

The Panel concluded that these payments were illegal because the Director-General was required by law to seek the approval of the Finance Minister who would in turn have required the approval of the National Assembly through the Presidency.

The API which was set up to look into the allegations of financial misconduct by Gwarzo had earlier recommended his dismissal from the Public Service.

The panel found Gwarzo guilty of violating public service rules and financial misappropriation.

It advised that his case be handed over to ICPC and made to refunds N104.85 million to the federal government.

Below are some of the documents obtained.

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