BY GEORGE OKOJIE, Lagos
Human Rights Group operating under the aegis of Campaign Against Impunity yesterday urged the federal government and Anti-graft agencies to speed up investigation into the allegation of gross abuse of office and recklessness leveled against the suspended Director-General of the Security Exchange Commission, Mr. Munir Gwarzo.
Speaking at a press conference in Lagos, the Convener of the group, Comrade Shina Loremikan, urged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) to quickly decide on the investigation into the activities of the Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and make public the outcome of its investigation.
The group expressed worry over the rate of impunity in the public office, saying President Muhammadu Buhari must ensure that immediate steps are taken to constitute a board for the Securities and Exchange Commission as provided for in the extant laws establishing the commission.
He said the Investment and securities Act (ISA) 2007 gives the commission its current powers also made provision for the appointment of a nine member board to be headed by a Chairman.
Lorimikan said,” Considering the likelihood that a lot of mere acts of impunity may have been committed unchecked under the arrangement in which Mr Gwarzo functioned as the Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission without checks from a Board, the Campaign Against in Nigeria call on the Finance Minister, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun to order a thorough audit of the finances of the Commission. We also urge the Minister to stand firm and buckle under any pressure by the campaign of impunity being sponsored by Mr Gwarzo against her person.
“The entire process smells an attempt to cover up impunity with blackmail. We therefore demand that Mrs. Kemi Adeosun should make public the report the report of the administrative panel put in place to investigate the allegations against Mr Gwarzo. She should also direct her office to forward the report of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission.(ICPC).”
The group while urging the EFCC and ICPC that had been petitioned to decide over who will actually investigate the allegations, among the two agencies said constitution of the board, would among other things, ensure that no Director General of the Commission can be become a law onto himself and act with impunity without appropriate checks by the Board.