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N30bn Bond: Group Writes Adeosun, Accuses Gwarzo Of Abuse Of Office


N30bn Bond: Group Writes Adeosun, Accuses Gwarzo Of Abuse Of Office

A political pressure group, the Gombe Good Governance Group, otherwise called G4, has written a letter to the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, complaining about the conduct of the suspended Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Munir Gwarzo, while in office.

In the letter dated November 31, 2017, and titled, “Complaint of abuse of office and disregard of due process against Mr. Munir Gwarzo — the suspended Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission,” the G4 accused Gwarzo of portraying the SEC as an “irresponsible government agency, which indulged in lawlessness with no regard for the judicial process” while he was in office.

Adeosun had on Wednesday announced Gwarzo’s suspension over allegations of financial impropriety levelled against him.

Also suspended were two officials of the commission — Head of the Media Division, Mr. Abdulsalam Naif; and the Head of Legal Department, Mrs. Anastasia Braimoh, who were also alleged to have engaged in financial impropriety.

In a letter on Friday and signed by the G4’s counsel, Salihu Babakeke of Legal Option Solicitors, the group referred to a suit it filed against SEC and the Gombe State Government in 2014.

A lawyer with the firm, Mr. Ekene Okwubanego, confirmed the authenticity of the letter to our correspondent on Friday.

The suit, filed before the Federal High Court, Abuja with number FHC/ABJ/CS/735/2014, had sought to stop SEC from releasing the second tranche of N10bn bond which the Gombe State Government sought from the capital market.

The state, under the leadership of Governor Ibrahim Dankwambo, had approached the capital market in 2014 to raise a N30bn bond to enable it to raise finance for its infrastructural development programmes.

But G4 sought the court to restrain SEC, which was then under the leadership of the former DG, Mrs. Aruma Oteh, from releasing the second tranche, stating that there was nothing to show for the first N10bn tranche which the state got.

An interlocutory injunction was eventually served by the court on SEC and the Gombe State Government, which made Oteh refrain from releasing the N10bn second tranche pending the determination of the matter by the court until some conditions were fulfilled.

The conditions included a detailed report reviewing what the previous N10bn funds were used for as well as a list of new projects, programmes and activities the new tranche of funding would be deployed.

Alleging Gwarzo of abuse of office in its letter to Adeosun, G4 said, “Sadly, Mr. Munir Gwarzo, upon assumption of office, as the acting DG of SEC, proceeded to grant the said approval to the Gombe State Government in flagrant disregard to the pending suit in court and in abuse of his office. This act of Gwarzo, who had only then acted for less than a month, foisted a state of helplessness on the court as it rendered the outcome of the motion on notice nugatory, thereby ridiculing the court.

“His action was clearly contemptuous of the court and an assault on the rule of law. The grave effect of this action of Mr. Gwarzo is that it portrayed the SEC as an irresponsible government agency indulging in lawlessness with no regard for judicial process.

This perception is antithetical to the tenets and spirit of democracy and not acceptable in the comity of nations as it sends a wrong signal to the international community and foreign investors.”

G4 further said Gwarzo’s approval of the second tranche of N10bn bond to the Gombe State Government was an act that “clearly” fertilised corruption “as it was used to stultify due process and accountability in governance, thereby denying the populace of the right to know how the finances of their state are expended.”

All efforts to seek Gwarzo’s reaction proved abortive as his telephone line indicated that it was switched off.

A text message sent to him had also not been replied to as of the time of filing this report.

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