The suspended Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Mallam Mounir Gwarzo, had expressed regret over some actions he took which constituted abuse of office while serving as Director General of the SEC.
Although he did not betray this emotion publicly over the months, fresh facts indicated that Gwarzo told the Administrative Panel of Inquiry set up to investigate him over allegations of violations of public service Rules, Financial Regulations and other Extant Rules and Regulations that the letters written by him to GTBank as a director of the company while still holding public office as SEC’s DG was regrettable.
The embattled DG’s confessions and other findings were contained in the full report of the Administrative Panel of Inquiry sourced at the weekend by a team of crack investigative journalists.
Specifically, the panel was constituted to investigate Gwarzo on allegations that he collected severance package while still in office, served as director in Medusa Limited while in service in violation of PSR 030424 which prohibits public officers from holding office as director in private companies, used his position as DG of SEC to award contracts to Medusa wherein he was serving as director, thus resulting in conflict of interest, amongst others.
One of the issues used by the panel to indict him was that Gwarzo awarded SEC’s contracts to companies owned by him and his wife’s family in flagrant disobedience of public service rules while in service.
On his directorship position in Medusa Limited while still serving as DG, the report stated that inquiry made and documents obtained by the panel at the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) indicated that Gwarzo was still a director of the company as well as a major shareholder with a shareholding of N1.2m as at the time of the search.
This is even as the report showed that his purported letter of resignation dated 19th December 2012 was not part of CAC’s records as at the date of the inquiry. It was equally discovered from the account opening mandate obtained from GTBank that Gwarzo was at the date of the inquiry signatory to account No 322324264/1/110 maintained by the company with the bank.
The panel was also furnished with a letter dated 24th July, 2015, addressed to the bank signed by Gwarzo as director of the company requesting for a change of account Officer on the basis of a resolution passed and signed by the directors of the company to that effect.
The report also discovered that a letter dated 16th August, 2016 was signed by Gwarzo as a director of the company requesting for the issuance of a credit card in relation to the said account.
The report stated that “when Gwarzo was confronted with the above letters, he admitted to have authored and signed them, but claimed that it was a regrettable action.”
On Outbound Investments Limited which benefitted in contacts awarded by SEC to the tune of N33,736,596, Gwarzo claimed that the company belongs to his wife’s family and that he was only representing his wife on the Board.
Based on the confession, the panel opined that Gwarzo’s status as director in both Medusa Investment Limited and Outbound Investment Limited while still serving as SEC’s DG had raised and established a fundamental issue of conflict of interest against him.
Based on the gravity of the findings by the Panel, it was recommended that Gwarzo be directed to refund the sum of N104,851,154.94 which he allegedly collected as severance package.
In addition, the Panel also recommended his dismissal from the public service for holding the position of a Director in private companies while in service as the DG of SEC in breach of PSR 030424 and Section 6 of the Investment and Securities Act 2007.