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Alleged fraud: Suspended SEC DG Gwarzo to know fate April 12

An FCT High Court in Maitama has fixed April 12 for ruling on a no-case application filed by suspended Director General of the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC), Mounir Gwarzo.

Gwarzo was arraigned on a five-count charge by the Independent and Corrupt Practices and Other Related Commission (ICPC) along with Zakawani Garba, a commissioner in SEC for allegedly paying himself severance benefits of N104.8m and N10.4m in excess of car grant while still in service.

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The trial judge, Justice Husseini Baba-Yusuf yesterday fixed the date following the adoption of addresses on the no-case submission by all parties.

Counsel for Gwarzo, Abdulhakeem Mustapha (SAN) had urged the court to hold that the prosecution was unable to adduce any credible evidence to make the defendant enter any defence. He said the prosecution had failed to make out any prima facie case against Gwarzo, adding that the evidence adduced was all contradictory.

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Counsel for Garuba, Robert Emukpoeruo, also told the court the prosecution had failed from the evidence adduced to make any prima facie case against the second defendant.

They both urged the court to uphold their no-case submission and dismiss the charge against their clients.

However, the prosecution counsel, Raheem Adesina, urged the court to dismiss the no-case submission of the defendants and ask them to enter their defence.

The prosecutor stated that there was the need for the defendants to explain to the court where they got the severance package since there was nowhere in Exhibit ICPC 3 before the court where the severance package was mention.

According to him, there was no single word of severance benefit in the SEC Board Resolution of July 2002 (Exhibit ICPC 3), adding that what was approved and collected was severance benefit when the first defendant never retired from SEC.

Earlier, the court granted the prosecution’s leave to amend the five-count charge against the defendants. When the amended charge was read to the defendants, they pleaded not-guilty.

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