Despite claims by the minister of finance Kemi Adeosun that the sacking of former Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Munir Gwarzo was as a result of alleged breach of official procedures and protocol, he has insisted that he was sacked for carrying out probe on Oando.
Gwarzo who speake on Tuesday at the public hearing organised by the House Committee on Capital Market and Institutions to resolve the dispute, insisted that the minister did not support the forensic audit of SEC and that his suspension came after his insistence that the audit would continue.
The former SEC DG accused Adeosun of interfering in the operations of SEC explaining that prior to his suspension, the minister asked him to resign when he protested her alleged directive that the forensic audit of Oando should be stopped.
Adeosun suspended Gwarzo last year on allegations bothering on abuse of office.
“On one occasion, the minister invited me and asked me the powers I had to carry on with the audit. So, I explained to her it was within the powers of my office. She said we should have mentioned it to her but no problem,” Gwarzo said.
“But the scary aspect was that she told me she was told I should have been sacked. After that encounter, we went on with our investigations.
“On another occasion, the honourable minister invited me again in the company of the permanent secretary and said I should lift the technical suspension placed on Oando.
“Later around 4pm, another meeting was conveyed, with the minister, permanent secretary, director of legal services and some staff of SEC. The minister went through all the allegations against SEC and also the recommendations. We discussed extensively with her and sought some clarifications.
“The minister said ‘even though you did not carry us along, we have no choice than to support you’. The case was in court, so we couldn’t do anything then.”
He added that after the case was thrown out of court, another meeting took place, where he was informed that the minister expressed her support with the decisions of SEC regarding the issue.
“Next, we issued a letter to Oando informing them we will continue with the audit and the next day, I was invited by the minister,” Gwarzo added.
“She said to me, ‘I want this Oando issue to be concluded’ and I replied, ‘no problem’. She then said I should stop the forensic audit of Oando and that I should constitute a committee comprising the head of legal of SEC, that of the ministry and that of Oando.
“She then told me I will not be on that committee, and that they were given me the directive as my board (members). I said okay, if that’s the case, I want it to be committed in writing.
“She went on to tell me I had two options, either I resign or I am suspended. And went on to remind me of the allegations against me. I told her I am ready to defend myself against those allegations.
“The minister then said no, that my case is similar to that of Babachir Lawal, the former SGF, which means she has already pronounced me guilty.”
Gwarzo said he was guilty of none of the allegations levelled against him, while explaining that he had duly collected his severance pay — which is one of the issues in contention — and that the illegal recruitment he was accused of carrying our was also false.