Suspended SEC Boss Spent N1.7 Billion On ‘Golden Handshake’ — Panel

The embattled former Director General of the Securities & Exchange Commission, SEC, Mounir Gwarzo, appears to be in more trouble as fresh allegations emerged Thursday that he spent over N1.7 billion on ‘golden handshake’ to some staff without due process and approval.

Also, filings with the Corporate Affairs Commission, CAC and bank documents showed Mr. Gwarzo may have been economical with the facts about his relationships with the two private companies linked to him.

The latest allegation is coming barely 48 hours after an administrative panel of inquiry recommended his immediate dismissal from public service.

Mr. Gwarzo was said to have approved the payment of retirement benefits to 44 staff of the commission in 2015 without due process and approval of the Minister of Finance.

But, Mr. Gwarzo denied any wrongdoing, saying the latest allegations were part of a bouquet of accusations in the petition against him since January 2017 for which the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission, ICPC had already cleared him.

“These are issues we went to ICPC and EFCC (Economic and Financial Crimes Commission). It is completely untrue there was any wrongdoing. We had approval of our Board for the virement for the Golden Handshake. Ask the SEC Board Secretary for the approval. Even the ICPC wrote to clear us,” Mr. Gwarzo said on Friday.

Mr. Gwarzo has been on suspension from office since November 2017 for allegedly paying himself about N104.9 million as severance package while still in office.

The payment was said to have breached paragraphs 313 and 316(4) of the Financial Regulations (Government Notice No. 219 of 27th October, 2009).

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