Court Strikes Out Alleged N115m Fraud Suit Against Suspended SEC DG, Gwarzo, Garuba

The suspended Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Dr Mounir Gwarzo and former Executive Commissioner of SEC, Zakawanu Garuba, were Tuesday freed of corruption charges.

Justice Hussein Baba-Yusuf of an FCT High Court held that the defendants were not guilty in the alleged of N115 fraud against them.

He upheld the no case submissions of the defendants, saying the prosecution was unable to establish a prima facie case against them.

The Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Crimes Commission (ICPC) had accused Gwarzo of committing fraud to the tune of about N115m in June 2015, when he was the SEC Director-General.

It alleged that the suspended D-G received the sum of N104.85m as severance benefits when he had yet to retire, resign or disengage from the service of SEC.

The commission added that Gwarzo conferred a corrupt advantage upon himself when he received the sum of N10.98m in excess of car grant payable to him.

Garuba, on the other hand, was accused by ICPC of allegedly conniving with Gwarzo to commit the fraud.

However, Justice Baba-Yusuf, delivering a ruling on the no case submissions by the defendants, held that the prosecution failed to establish the essential elements of the offence the defendants were said to have committed.

Baba-Yusuf stated: “Accordingly the defendants are discharged of the allegations against them.”

In the no case submission, counsel to the defendants, Abdulhakeem Mustapha (SAN) and Robert Emupkoeruo, prayed the court to strike out the suit against their clients because the prosecution was unable to adduce any evidence that the defendants committed the offence they were charged with.

Specifically, counsel to Gwarzo, argued that the prosecution was not able to adduce any credible evidence to warrant the defendant to enter any defence.

Mustapha submitted that the prosecution failed woefully to make out any prima facie case against Gwarzo, adding that the evidence presented before the court were contradictory.

Also, counsel to Garuba, Emukpoeruo, argued that the evidence of the prosecution during hearing did not establish any ingredients of the offence said to have been committed by Garuba.

He, then, urged the court not only to uphold the no case submission but also discharge and acquit the second defendant.

The court agreed with counsel to the defendants and consequently struck out the charges against them.

Author: News Editor

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