On a day the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, at the House of Representatives justified her decision to suspend the Director-General of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Mr. Munir Gwarzo, an Administrative Panel of Inquiry, headed by a Permanent Secretary, has recommended his dismissal from the federal public service.
Gwarzo had questioned his suspension as the NSE boss when he appeared, Tuesday before the House Committee on Capital Committee, insisting the minister did not have the powers she exercised.
To worsen matters for Gwarzo, he has been asked to refund N104,851,154.94 (one hundred and four million, eight hundred and fifty one thousand, one hundred and fifty four naira and ninety four kobo), being the severance package he approved and received.
However, the panel recommended that Gwarzo should be discharged on the allegations of award of contracts to Medusa Investments Limited; award of contracts to other companies as mentioned in paragraph 5.1.1 and to which no relationship with Mr. Mounir H. Gwarzo was sufficiently established.
It was gathered last night that the report of the panel has been handed to Adeosun, though efforts to confirm this were futile as no one in the Ministry of Finance was willing to comment. “Only the Minister or Permanent Secretary can speak on that report,” a staff said Tuesday.
The Panel, according to sources, also recommended that the suspended SEC director-general be referred to the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) for further investigation of the allegation of using his position to influence the award of contracts to Outbound Investments Limited.
The report and recommendations of the API headed by the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Finance, Mahmoud Isa-Dutse, is expected to be made public in the next few days.
The panel noted that the holding of the position of the director-general of SEC as well as a director in two private companies (Medusa Investment Limited and Outbound Investments Limited) was in breach of public service rule 030424, public service rule 030402 and Section 6 of the Investment and Securities Act, ISA 2007.
The Panel, however, recommended that the cases of two management officers of the Commission – Mrs. Anastasia Omozele Braimoh and Mr. Abdulsalam Naif H. be referred to SEC for appropriate disciplinary action in line with the provisions of the Staff Manual of SEC.
The Panel advised the Federal Government to re-orientate public servants to the very fact that the Public Service Rules and Financial Regulations are ground norms of every Government Service Contract, be it at the Federal, State or Local Government levels.
It added, “Accordingly, all Government Extra-Ministerial Departments and Agencies should be made to understand that the PSR and FR are superior to whatever specific legislations and domestic arrangements that guide their operations, except when such issues were not covered by any provision of the PSR.”