Firebrand human right lawyer, Festus Keyamo (SAN) has raised some posers concerning the ongoing probe of Director General of Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Mr. Mounir Haliru Gwarzo, just as he decried display of petty politics and ethnic bigotry over the matter.
BigPen Online recalls that Gwarzo had been under investigation by an Administrative Panel of Inquiry set up by the Hon. Minister of Finance; Economic and Financial Crimes Commission as well as the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) for his conduct as head of Nigeria’s apex securities regulator.
Keyamo in a statement on Wednesday, however said, “I woke up this morning and read of the attempts by the House of Representatives, some individuals and even media outlets to reduce this laudable investigation of alleged graft to a mere political witch-hunt by linking it to the on-going probe of Oando Plc.
He said that the clear objective of these political jobbers is to intimidate the agencies investigating the suspended DG of SEC into abandoning their mandate and ultimately erode the confidence of the Nigerian public in the eventual outcome of the investigations.
The statement read in part, “Let it be known to all and sundry that despite the hues and cries of those trying to obfuscate the real issues in this investigation, the questions that well-meaning Nigerians and myself want answered are as follows:-
“Did the suspended DG of SEC pay to himself the sum of N104,851,154.94 (One Hundred and Four Million, Eight Hundred and Fifty One Thousand, One Hundred and Fifty Four Naira, Ninety Four Kobo) as ‘severance benefits’ after for his elevation from Executive Commissioner of SEC to DG of SEC despite not having completed his tenure as Executive Commissioner? If this is true would it not be in contravention of Section 1 of the Code of Conduct for Public Officers set out in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Section 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act and Sections 122 and 311 of the Penal Code Act, Laws of FCT?
“Did the suspended DG of SEC award contracts to companies like Outbound Investment Limited, Northwind Environmental Services and Micro-Technologies Nigeria Limited in which he and his cronies are both directors and shareholders? If this is true would it not be in contravention of Section 1 of the Code of Conduct for Public Officers set out in the 5thSchedule of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Section 311 of the Penal Code Act, Laws of FCT and Section 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act?
“Did the suspended DG of SEC divert for his personal use the vehicles belonging to the Securities and Exchange Commission despite receiving the sum of N84,388,886.00 (Eighty Four Million, Three Hundred and Eighty Eight Thousand, Eight Hundred and Eighty Six Naira) as monetized car grant/allowance for four cars? If this is true, would it not be in contravention of Section 1 of the Code of Conduct for Public Officers set out in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Section 311 of the Penal Code Act Laws of FCT and Section 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act?
“Whilst Nigerians anxiously await the Report of all the investigations into the Securities and Exchange Commission, I also urge the relevant agencies to continue the transparent and thorough probe of the issues surrounding Oando Plc.
He warned that the Oando Plc probe should not be scuttled on account of the investigation of the suspended DG of SEC because according to him, the Oando probe and the SEC investigation are mutually exclusive despite the attempts to link them together.
According to him, the posers raised above agitate the minds of all well-meaning Nigerians who are eagerly awaiting the thorough and speedy conclusions of all investigations.
“I therefore urge all the bodies and agencies involved in the probe to be firm, fair and decisive. They should not be distracted by those who want to introduce politics into the whole affair”, he added.