Independent Corrupt Practices And Other Related Offences Commission

RE: THE TEXT OF A PRESS CONFERENCE BY THE CENTRE FOR ANTI-CORRUPTION AND OPEN LEADERSHIP (CACOL) ON MONDAY 18TH FEBRUARY 2019 AT THE AIRPORT HOTEL, IKEJA, LAGOS

JUST BEFORE ICPC SETS DIRECTOR-GENERAL SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION, MR MOUNIR HALIRU GWARZO FREE ON ALLEGED CORRUPTION AND ABUSE OF OFFICE AND PREPARE THE GROUND FOR HIS REINSTATEMENT, CACOL IS HERE TO BLOW THE WHISTLE AGAIN

The attention of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has been drawn to the text of a press conference addressed by Debo Adeniran, Executive Chairman of CACOL on the criminal case involving Mr. Gwarzo currently being prosecuted by the Commission.

Ordinarily, the Commission as a matter of policy does not respond to newspaper publications on an on-going criminal case pending before a competent court of law.

However, in view of the misrepresentations contained in the text of the said press conference, it is imperative to set the records straight.

Mr. Gwarzo was charged to court for alleged breach of trust and receiving monies he was not entitled to when he became Director-General of  Securities and Exchange Commission SEC.

The prosecution has presented witnesses as well as exhibits and has  closed its case after which a no-case submission was filed by the defence.

Mr. Gwarzo’s defence relies on the Board Resolution of SEC in 2002 while the prosecution’s case is that the said resolution is not applicable and also contrary to the extant law, namely “Certain Political, Public and Judicial Office Holders (Salaries and Allowances, etc.) Amendment Act 2008.

In other words the case depends entirely on the interpretation of documents and law.

In court, the two ICPC investigators never said that Mr. Gwarzo was entitled to the monies he collected as severance benefit. Rather, they  maintained that he was not entitled to the monies, and if he was entitled at all, the amount should have been much less under the “Certain Political, Public and Judicial Office Holders (Salaries and Allowances, etc.) Amendment Act 2008”.

It is ICPC’s policy that where a petition contains several allegations, charges may be filed on those allegations that have been established while others may be recommended for further investigation which outcome would determine whether other charges will be filed. Such is the case in this matter as pending allegations against Gwarzo are still being investigated.

While the Commission appreciates the cooperation of CSOs in the fight against corruption, it hereby urges them to exercise restraint and caution when expressing opinions on matters that are under investigation or that have been charged to court.