ICPC To Appeal Judgment Acquitting Suspended SEC Nigeria DG

The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) says its “Notice of Appeal will be filed very soon,” challenging the ruling on the ‘No Case Submission’ in the trial of suspended Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Mounir Gwarzo.
In his ruling, Justice Husseini Baba Yusuf of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court had set Gwarzo and Zakawanu Garuba, the SEC’s Executive Commissioner, Corporate Services free on a five-count charge bordering on fraud to the tune of about N115 million when Gwarzo was the DG-SEC in June 2018.
In a statement by its spokesperson, Rasheedat Okoduwa, the commission expressed dissatisfaction with the judgment, arguing that the board resolution the trial judge relied on did not decide severance benefit, as it was limited to ” retirement and resignation benefits”.
Okoduwa said the court upheld the ‘No Case Submission’ of the defendants, ”because the prosecution had failed to prove the elements of the offence,” adding that the commission’s board was the highest authority and had by resolution approved the severance benefit and the car grant.
“The court finally discharged and acquitted the defendants on all the charges against them,” she added.
The ICPC alleged that Gwarzo received N104.9m as severance benefits and N10m excess car grant even when he was not entitled to such, thereby committing a breach of trust having conferred a corrupt advantage upon himself.
“Garuba was accused of allegedly conniving with Gwarzo to commit the fraud because he approved the monies for him as an Executive Commissioner, Corporate Services in SEC then.
“The defence counsel A.U. Mustapha (SAN) and Robert Emukpoeruo filed for a ‘No Case Submission,’ after the prosecuting counsel had brought forward witnesses, but the defense urged the court to hold that the prosecution was unable to prove its case against their client.
Gwarzo and Garuba were tried by the ICPC before they were arraigned at the FHC.
Recall that former Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, suspended Gwarzo in November 2017 over allegations of corruption and set up a panel to investigate the alleged issues, after which the ICPC arraigned them in court.

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