The National Industrial Court, yesterday in Abuja, ordered the immediate reinstatement of Mounir Gwarzo, the suspended Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), back to his position. Gwarzo Gwarzo Justice Sanusi Kado, in his judgment, held that the Minister of Finance, named as second defendant in the suit, lacked the power to suspend the claimant. SEC is one of the government agencies under the ministry of finance.
Kado further held that the issue in dispute was not about the position of the claimant (Gwarzo) as the DG of the Commission, but who has the power to suspend him. 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 of Ministry of Finance, on the directive of the president, who had the power of suspension.
He stated, “the minister’s role was that of recommendation.” No money missing, stolen in CBN, says spokesman Kado, in addition, said the Administrative Panel of Inquiry that indicted the claimant was not a court of law neither was it a quasi-judicial body, but just a body set up for a fact finding duty. He, therefore, declared that the suspension of the claimant was null, void and of no effect.
Kado also declared that the recommendation of the Administrative Panel of Inquiry set up by the second defendant, be set aside. The judge then ordered the reinstatement of the claimant as the DG of SEC to complete his five year tenure. He further ordered that the claimant’s salaries, allowances and entitlements accrued be paid to him in full.
Mrs Kemi Adeosun, the former Finance Minister, on Nov. 29, 2017, suspended Gwarzo and set up an administrative panel of inquiry to investigate allegations of financial impropriety levelled against him. The ex-minister said Gwarzo was suspended from office to allow for an unhindered investigation. Gwarzo however, in June, 2018 approached the court to challenge his suspension.