Business, Economy

Reps probe Gwarzo’s suspension as DG of SEC, seek return to status quo

The House of Representatives on Tuesday resolved to probe alleged corruption in Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which led to suspension of its Director General, Munir Gwazo by Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun.

To this end, the House asked the parties in the matter to maintain status quo, pending the outcome of the investigation.

The resolution followed a motion under Matters of Urgent Public Importance by Diri Douye (Bayelsa-PDP) on “need to intervene on the conflict between Minister of Finance and the suspended Director General, Securities and Exchange Commission.’’

Moving the motion, Douye said there were allegations of interference by the Ministry of Finance in the discharge of responsibilities by SEC, particularly the Oando Forensic Audit matter which was largely responsible for Gwarzo’s suspension.

According to him, it has also led to constitution of Administrative Panel of Inquiry and appointment of Acting SEC Director General by Minister of Finance.

Douye explained that the conflict had allegedly lingered for several months between Ministry of Finance and SEC but the matter of disagreement brought it into public domain.

“The intervention by the House would put the matter into proper perspective and amicable resolution of the conflict to protect the image of SEC in the interest of both local and foreign investors.’’

He, therefore, urged the House to investigate the matter to ascertain the true situation in the commission.

Contributing to the motion, Toby Okechukwu (Enugu-PDP) said that the rot in SEC apparently contributed to the collapse of the capital market in Nigeria.

He said “what is happening in SEC is symptomatic of the collapse of capital market. I wouldn’t know why infractions should be swept under the carpet.

“The Nigerian people should be told why the infractions of Oando would be swept under the carpet. Nigerians should know why the Minister could not be investigated.

“Nigerians should know why the SEC DG was suspended. A total panel of inquiry is needed in SEC,’’ he said.

Also in his contribution, Sanni Kaita (Katsina-APC) said that the Commission was too sensitive and important to be left unattended to.

The motion was unanimously adopted by members when it was put to a voice vote by the Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, who mandated the Committee on Capital Market and Institutions to investigate all allegations.

The committee was asked to report findings to the House within two weeks for further legislative action.

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