Aggrieved SEC workers protest over Gwarzo’s reinstatement

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Workers at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Monday morning shut down the office premises over attempts to reinstate suspended DG, Mounir Gwarzo.

BusinessDay gathered that the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria, SEC Branch, locked up offices of the Headquarters of the Commission.

The Union is protesting attempts to reinstate the suspended Director General of SEC, Mounir Gwarzo.

Gwarzo had been indicted for abuse of office and corruption by an Administrative Panel of Inquiry set up by the Federal Ministry of Finance headed by the Permanent Secretary, Dr. Mahmoud Isa-Dutse.

Gwarzo was also indicted by the House of Representatives Ad-Hoc Committee which investigated his suspension by the former Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun.

However, an industrial court in Abuja last Thursday dismissed the three issues raised again the embattled DG and ordered his immediate reinstatement.

 

Onyinye Nwachukwu, Abuja

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Industrial court orders Gwarzo’s reinstatement as SEC DG

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Barely six (6) weeks after the Federal High Court in Abuja dismissed corruption charges against , suspended Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Industrial Court on Thursday May 30, ordered his reinstatement in office.

The Industrial Court also ordered that the federal government should pay him all entitlements.

Justice Sanusi Kado of the Industrial Court in his judgment held that the former minister of finance, Kemi Adeosun named as the second defendant in the suit lacked the power to suspend the claimant.

On November 29, Kemi Adeosun suspended Gwarzo and set up an administrative panel of inquiry to investigate allegations of financial impropriety leveled against him.

He was accused of collecting severance package worth N104.85 million while still in service in violation of the civil service rules.

The minister said Gwarzo was suspended from office to allow for an unhindered investigation.

Kado, who dismissed three issues raised by defence counsel through their preliminary objection, ruled that the suit was not status barred.

The judge further held that the issue in dispute was not about the position of the claimant as to the DG of the commission, but that the bone of contention was who had the power to suspend him.

The judge held that the second defendant (minister of finance) did not have the power to suspend the claimant since he was not an employee of the commission.

He said that the minister, in the absence of the board, only had supervisory power, which does not include disciplinary power to suspend the DG.

Kado held that it was only the permanent secretary in the ministry of finance, on the directive of the president, who had the power of suspension.

For emphasis, he said, “the minister’s role was that of recommendation”.

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