By Umar Muhammad Puma
The Centre for Anti-corruption and Open Leadership (CACOL) has accused Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Munnir Gwarzo of illegally paying himself the sum of N104.851million as severance benefit.
The group stated this in a petition it submitted to the House of Representatives, alleging various financial abuses against the Director General.
While briefing journalists at the National Assembly, the Executive Chairman of CACOL, Debo Adeniran said the petition, which has been trending for days now, have been received formally by the Office of the Speaker.
He disclosed that due to the weight of the allegations, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) and other relevant anti-corruption agencies have been notified formally of the complaints.
According to the Centre, part of the complaints against Gwarzo, is the demand of N104.851 million as severance allowance, while in the service as a Commissioner, which he said is against laid down rules.
He argued that the package is usually paid ‘only to an employee of the commission, who has concluded his or her service and has completely disengaged from the commission and not to an employee who has been promoted within the commission and has not severed out his employment with the commission.
The activist also accused the commission’s DG and his family members of holding shares in companies that have been used to carry out contracts in the Commission.
“The personal interest of Mr Gwarzo in the companies clearly contravenes the provisions of Nigerian law, which distinctively prohibit public officers from putting themselves in situations where their personal interest conflicts with their public duties,” he said.
He also accused Gwarzo of diverting certain assets of the commission, such as official vehicles as well as siphoning of public funds and disregard for constitutionality.
However, in a reaction, SEC spokesman, Naif Abdulsalam said, “as a tradition, the Commission follows laid down rules and regulations in all its activities, and in this particular case, we ensured that no relevant policy is breached”.