By Peter Egwuatu
The embattled Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, Mr. Mounir Gwarzo has said that there was no fair hearing during the sitting by the Administrative Panel of Inquiry into allegations of violation of Public Service Rules against him.
Reacting to the recommendation of the panel for his sack, Gwarzo, in a statement, said: “This allegation contained in the administrative panel report was never included in the query issued to me on November 3, 2017, the allegation contained in the suspension letter issued by the Minister dated November 29, 2017 and the invitation letter given to me to appear before the panel on January 10, 2017. Therefore, on what basis did the committee included in its report when fair hearing was not given to me.”
While justifying the severance package instituted by the commission in 2015, he said: “The Golden Handshake exercise was a voluntary retirement scheme designed by the commission for certain category of staff to exit the commission. As an incentive to access the scheme, staffs were offered certain percentage of their allowances/remuneration. The scheme was duly approved by the board of the commission at its meeting of March 12th, 2015 and funded from the commission’s 2015 Budget.
He further stated that Section 4 (1) (d) of the Investment and Securities Act (ISA), 2007 (Appendix II) empowers the Board of the Commission to consider and approve the annual budget of the Commission to consider and approve the annual budget of the commission as may be presented to it by the Management. “Thus the Board in exercise of its power as contained in the ISA approved the 2015 budget of the commission. Furthermore, Section 19 & 20 of the ISA (Appendix III) empowers the Commission to establish and maintain a Fund, the proceeds of which it may apply to meets its financial obligations”, he noted.
According to him, “The effect of the provisions of the ISA cited above is that the commission is empower to cater for all of its financial obligations from its Funds. However, such amounts must be expended from a Budget, which must be approved by the Board of the Commission. The funding of the Golden handshake was therefore carried out in line with this statutorily laid down procedure for disbursing the Funds of the Commission.”
It will be recalled that Administrative Panel of Inquiry into allegations of violation of Public Service Rules, recommended last week that Gwarzo be dismissal from public service.