ICPC to appeal ruling on Gwarzo’s case

THE Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) plans to appeal the ruling on the No Case Submission in the  trial of suspended Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Mounir Gwarzo and Executive Commissioner, Corporate Services, Zakawanu Garuba.

The duo, according to a statement by its spokesperson, Mrs. Rasheedat Okoduwa, a copy of which was made available to the Nigerian Tribune  on Wednesday in Abuja, were arraigned in June, 2018  before Justice Husseini Baba Yusuf of Court 4 of the FCT High Court in a 5-Count charge bordering on fraud to the tune of about N115 million when Gwarzo was the DG-SEC.

ICPC alleged that Gwarzo received the sum of N104, 851,154.94 as severance benefits and N10milion excess car grant which he was not entitled to and therefore committed breach of trust and conferred a corrupt advantage upon himself. Garuba was accused of allegedly conniving with Gwarzo to commit the fraud because he approved the monies for him as an Executive Commissioner, Corporate Services in SEC then.

It said the defence counsel A.U.Mustapha (SAN) and Robert Emupkoeruo filed for a No Case Submission after the prosecuting counsel had brought forward their witnesses. The defence urged the court to hold that the prosecution was unable to prove the case against their client.

The court then upheld the No Case Submission of the defendants on the grounds that the prosecution had failed to prove the elements of the offence in that the Board of SEC was the highest authority in SEC and had by resolution approved the severance benefit and the car grant.

Further, the court finally discharged and acquitted the defendants on all the charges against them.

Meanwhile, ICPC is dissatisfied with the judgment on the grounds that the Board resolution the trial judge relied on did not decide severance benefit but retirement and resignation benefit. The Notice of Appeal will be filed very soon.

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