CSO takes Gwarzo’s prosecution agitation to Presidency 

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By Tola Akinmutimi, Abuja

A civil society group, the Concerned Industry Watchers, has petitioned President Buhari to use his good offices to ensure that all cases against him are pursued with renewed vigour to ensure justice.

The group’s clamour came barely 24 hours after another group, the Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership (CACOL) charged the Independent Corrupt Practices and Related Offences Commission (ICPC) to thoroughly look into the charge against the suspended SEC boss over fraudulent allegations and prosecute him.

The Concerned Industry Watchers, in a statement by its National Coordinator, Abdullahi Idoto, asked President Buhari to, as a matter of urgency, direct the ICPC to charge Gwarzo on the abuse of office by the award of contracts to his companies as well as being a director in the said companies.

It recalled that the suspended Director General breached public service rules by using his position to abuse the due process in contract awards in the commission and awarding various contracts to his companies and other cronies as well as paying substantial sums to himself as severance packages when still serving in office.

The group stressed that Mr. Gwarzo used his office to award contracts to Outbound Investment Limited; Northwind Environmental Services Limited; Medusa Investments Limited; Acromac Nigeria Limited and  Balfort International Investment Limited all of which he had interests in as a Director while his wife, Khadija and another relative are Directors in Medusa Investments Limited .

The civil society group stated that up until the time of his suspension as Director General of SEC, Gwarzo solely contracted Outbound Investment Ltd as the sole supplier of diesel to the commission while also supplying air conditioners, fridges and involved in several other contracts.

This is even as it noted that the suspended Director General also used Northwind Environmental Services Ltd, which was registered by his younger brother in 2016 shortly after he assumed office as SEC boss, to siphon funds from the commission.

The group maintained further that the same company was awarded the contract of cleaning the Commission’s Kano Zonal Office.

Among other offences the Concerned Industry Watchers believes the suspended SEC’s Director General should be brought to book include the collection by him of the sum of N6, 000,000  from the commission to fly first class to Hong Kong in 2016 in total disregard for the government’s directive issued in April 2016 in circular SGF/6/52/x/545 which prohibited public officials from flying first class.

In view of the weighty allegations pending against Gwarzo which the group pointed out, like CACOL, that the ICPC appeared not to be handling properly, it called on President Buhari to ensure that the cases against the suspended SEC’s Director General are pursued to logical conclusion.

The group recalled that the Administrative Panel of Inquiry set up by the former Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, to investigate the suspended the Director General indicted him over several allegations of financial impropriety and also recommended his immediate suspension from office.