The National Industrial Court, yesterday in Abuja, ordered the immediate reinstatement of Mounir Gwarzo, the suspended Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), back to his position.
Justice Sanusi Kado, in his judgment, held that the Minister of Finance, named as the second respondent in the suit, did not have the ability to suspend the petitioner. SEC is one of the government agencies under the ministry of finance.
Kado further held that the issue in the debate was not about the position of the claimant (Gwarzo) as the DG of the Commission, however, who has the ability to suspend him.
He said that the Minister, without the board, just had supervisory power, which does exclude disciplinary capacity to suspend the DG.
Kado held that it was just the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance, on the order of the president, who had the power of suspension.
He said, “the minister’s role was that of recommendation.
Kado, in addition, said the Administrative Panel of Inquiry that indicted the claimant was not a court of the law neither was it a quasi-judicial body, but just a body set up for a fact finding duty.
He, therefore, declared that the suspension of the claimant was null, void and of no effect.
Kado also declared that the recommendation of the Administrative Panel of Inquiry set up by the second defendant, be set aside.
The judge then ordered the reinstatement of the claimant as the DG of SEC to complete his five year tenure.
He further orders that the petitioner’s salaries, allowances, and entitlements accrued to be paid to him in full.
Mrs Kemi Adeosun, the previous Finance Minister, on Nov. 29, 2017, suspended Gwarzo and set up an administrative board of request to investigate claims of money related inappropriateness levelled against him.
The ex-serve said Gwarzo was suspended from office to take into account an unhindered investigation. Gwarzo in any case, in June 2018 moved to court to challenge his suspension.