Reps investigate SEC, Oando Crisis

The House of Representatives on Tuesday resolved to intervene in the current scandal rocking the Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC.
PREMIUM TIMES reported the suspension of the DG of SEC, Munir Gwarzo, by the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun.

Mrs. Adeosun ordered the suspension of Mr. Gwarzo and two others based on corruption allegations against them. Suspended alongside Mr. Gwarzo were two officials of the regulatory commission, Abdulsalam Habu, Head of Media Division, and Anastasia Braimoh, Head of Legal Department.

Mrs. Adeosun also set up an administrative panel to review the matter.

Further investigation by this newspaper, however, revealed that while the corruption allegations against Mr. Gwarzo was the official reason given, the ongoing scandal rocking oil firm Oando was the major trigger for the suspension.

The SEC, which recently directed a technical suspension of Oando shares on the stock market, was set to commence a forensic audit of the oil firm when Mr. Gwarzo was suspended.

On Tuesday, following a motion of urgent public importance brought before the House by Diri Duoye (Bayelsa – PDP), the house unanimously resolved to mandate its standing committee on capital market and institutions to investigate all allegations and report to the house in two weeks.

While raising the motion, Mr. Duoye said conflict has lingered for several months between the ministry of finance and SEC but the matter of Oando brought it into public domain.

“There are allegations of interference by the ministry of finance in the discharge of responsibility by SEC particularly, the Oando Forensic Audit matter, which was largely responsible for the DG’s suspension,” he said.

He said the intervention by the House will ensure a proper resolution of the conflict in order to protect the image of SEC in the interest of both local and foreign investors.

The house also resolved that all parties maintain status quo pending the outcome of its investigation.

SOURCE: Premium Times

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