Uche Usim, Abuja
The battle for the headship of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) got fiercer Monday morning as the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria, SEC Branch, locked up offices of the headquarters of the Commission over attempts by suspended DG Mounir Gwarzo to resume duties.
As early as 7am, the protesting workers had shut all entry points into SEC headquarters to prevent vested interests from reinstating Gwarzo who had been indicted for abuse of office and corruption by an Administrative Panel of Inquiry set up by the Federal Ministry of Finance, headed by the Permanent Secretary, Dr Mahmoud Isa-Dutse.
Gwarzo was also indicted by an House of Representatives Ad-Hoc Committee which investigated his suspension by the former Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun.
“We are SEC staff members of Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, SEC branch. We are a labour union that press home demands and concern with welfare of members,” said Nelson Oleghe, Chairman, Association of Senior Staff Union, SEC Branch.
“The suspended DG of SEC has been on suspension for almost two years following allegations of abuse of office levelled against him. the recommendations of the Special Investigation Panel that indicted him by the former Honorable Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun.
“The suspended DG was charged to court by ICPC. The case was poorly handled by the judge and ICPC.
“In all of the court cases the issues of fraud was not mentioned and areas pointed out by the SIP was not touched by the judges.”
Oleghe said the union learnt from a reliable source that the suspended DG after being “pronounced free by the court$” he wants to stage a come back and resume duties.
“After due deliberations at an emergency meeting held on Sunday June 02, 2019 we have unanimously agreed to hold a peaceful protest to stop the purported action about to be taken by the suspended DG.We call on all staff of the union, press and general pubic to be aware and witness our action.
“We believe that an institution that prescribes good corporate governance should be seen taking the lead. We say no to Gwarzo,” he added.
The National Industrial Court (NIC) last Thursday ordered the reinstatement of Mounir Gwarzo, the suspended Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), with all his salaries and allowances paid to him.
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 Gwarzo, even as he dismissed three issues raised by defence counsel through their preliminary objection, ruling that the suit was not statute barred.