ICPC wants suspended SEC DG’s acquittal set aside
The Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has asked the Court of Appeal to set aside acquittal of suspended Director General of Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Mounir Gwarzo, by a Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court.
In an appeal filed before the Abuja Division of the Court, ICPC said Justice Hussein Baba-Yusuf of the FCT High Court 4 erred in his ruling when he exonerated Gwarzo and a former Commissioner of SEC, Zakawanu Garuba of a N104.9 million severance package and car allowance racket.
The ICPC charged Gwarzo to court for alleged abuse of his office by receiving N104.9 million as severance benefit, which he was not entitled to at the time.
He was also charged for receiving N10 million in excess of a car grant he was entitled to, when he was elevated from Commissioner to Director General of the commission.
ICPC’s Lawyer, Raheem Adesina, citing 12 grounds why the appellate court should order a retrial of the accused persons and re-assign the case to another judge, said justice Baba-Yusuf’s reasons for acquitting Gwarzo were against the laws that set up SEC and other Federal Government agencies.
Adesina also stated that the Federal Government was denied justice when Baba-Yusuf set aside provisions of Certain Political, Public and Judicial Office Holders (Salaries and Allowances) Act, 2008 as amended, which prescribed a N5.8 million severance package, when he ruled in Gwarzo’s favour.
He also argued that it was a travesty of justice for Baba-Yusuf to rule that SEC board had all the powers to fix the severance package and other remuneration against the nation’s extant laws.
He added that Baba-Yusuf ignored evidences before him and avoided interpreting the document tendered by ICPC that showed only the payment of retirement and resignation benefits was permissible for political appointees who have spent two years and above at SEC.