The Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun had said that she could not be blackmailed over the suspension of the Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Mr. Mounir H. Gwarzo.

Adeosun and Gwarzo

Mr. Gwarzo has alleged that his suspension was due to his refusal to stop the forensic audit of Oando Plc.

The minister said in Abuja, yesterday that the claim was baseless because she approved the audit of Oando.

She added that the point was also made clear to the new SEC leadership that the audit must continue and wondered why some interests were trying to hang Gwarzo’s suspension on her opposition to the same audit which she approved.

She said that Gwarzo’s removal was based on the fact that “the integrity of the capital market is vital to the growth of the Nigerian economy and must be managed in an orderly and transparent manner to ensure investors’ confidence. Its leadership must maintain and be seen to maintain the highest standards of integrity.”

She added, “the original decision taken by SEC on October 20, 2017 to suspend the shares of Oando Plc and conduct a forensic audit, was approved and endorsed by the Federal Ministry of Finance. The SEC team, led by Mr. Mounir presented adequate evidence to the Minister of Finance and her team, that Oando Plc had a clear case to answer with regard to infractions of the ISA.

“No contrary evidence has been presented and thus, the investigative work on Oando and all other ongoing investigations being undertaken by SEC in the discharge of its statutory functions have continued. Indeed, our information is that the forensic auditors have resumed at Oando.

“For the avoidance of doubt, there was no directive whatsoever to discontinue investigation into Oando and this was reiterated to the current SEC leadership at the formal handover meeting. The fact that the investigation has continued further corroborates that this is the Minister’s position.

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