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Keyamo Asks FG to Release Probe Report on Suspended SEC Boss

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Festus Keyamo (SAN), Lagos-based lawyer, has requested that the report of the investigation panel set up to probe the suspended Mounir Gwarzo, director general of the Securities and Exchange Commission, (SEC) be made public.

 

Kemi Adeosun, minister of Finance, suspended Gwarzo on November 29, 2017 over allegations of financial impropriety levelled against him.

 

An Administrative Panel of Inquiry to investigate and determine the director-general’s culpability was set up the same day his suspension was announced.

 

But almost two months after the ex-SEC DG was suspended alongside two management staff members of the commission – Abdulsalam Naif (Head of Media) and Anastasia Braimoh (Head of Legal Department) – nothing has been heard about the probe panel or its report.

 

In a letter dated January 24, 2018 and addressed to the Administrative Panel of Inquiry, Minister of Finance, Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, Keyamo requested that the probe report be made public.

 

Failure to do so, noted the Senior Advocate of Nigeria in the letter titled: “Re: The Investigation of the Suspended Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission: A Request for the Investigation Report to be made public,” will reinforce the perception that the anti-corruption crusade has been bedevilled by politics and ethnicity.

 

Keyamo wrote: “It is disheartening that several weeks after the Administrative Panel of Inquiry was established, Nigerians who have been patiently expectant, are yet to be informed of the Report of the Investigation or indeed the progress of the said Inquiry. I had expected that the investigation will be swift and thorough as the issues raised touch on the twin evils of corruption and impunity. Despite the inordinate delay, I am still confident that the investigations have not been compromised.

 

“I am by this letter kindly requesting that the Investigation Report be made public irrespective of whose ox is gored as this would help correct the perception that the anti-corruption crusade has been bedevilled by politics and ethnicity. Nigerians deserve to know the truth and the falsehoods in the allegations and counter-allegations that have characterized the investigations into the activities of the DG of SEC and Oando Plc.”

 

In an earlier letter written to the Investigation Panel on December 5, 2017, the senior lawyer had asked the panel to ascertain if the: “Suspended DG of SEC pay to himself the sum of N104,851,154.94 as ‘severance benefits’ for his elevation from Executive Commissioner of SEC to DG of SEC despite not having completed his tenure as Executive Commissioner in contravention of Section 1 of the Code of Conduct for Public Officers set out in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Section 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act?

 

“Did the suspended DG of SEC award contracts to companies like Outbound Investment Limited, Northwind Environmental Services and Micro-Technologies Nigeria Limited in which he and his cronies are both directors and shareholders in contravention of Section 1 of the Code of Conduct for Public Officers set out in the 5th Schedule of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria ,Section 101 of the Criminal Code Act Cap C38 Laws of the Federation and Section 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act?

 

“Did the suspended DG of SEC divert for his personal use the vehicles belonging to the Securities and Exchange Commission despite receiving the sum of N84,388,886.00 as monetized car grant/allowance for four cars in contravention of Section 1 of the Code of Conduct for Public Officers set out in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Section 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act?”


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E-Financial

FG Makes u-Turn on Bank Account Re-Registration

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Federal government on Friday apologised for asking all account holders in financial institutions in the country to re-register their personal details.

FG makes u-Turn on Bank Account Re-Registration

Recall that the federal government had on Thursday ‎ordered that all persons holding accounts across financial institutions and insurance firms should complete and submit self-certification forms to their respective financial institutions.

The notice issued by the government to that effect read, ‎“This is to notify the general public that all account holders in Financial Institutions (Banks, Insurance Companies, etc.) are required to obtain, complete, and submit Self – Certification Forms to their respective Financial Institutions.

“Persons holding accounts in different financial institutions are required to complete and submit the form to each one of the institutions. The forms are required by the relevant financial institutions to carry out due diligence procedures, in line with the Income Tax Regulations 2019.‎”

The directive raised eyebrows, as account holders already possessed Bank Verification Numbers.

Following widespread condemnation that trailed the directive, the Federal Government backtracked on Friday, saying the fresh guidelin‎e was not for all Nigerians.

The government attributed the development to misinformation.

The clarification issued by the government on Friday read, ‎“We apologise for the misleading tweets (now deleted) that went up yesterday, regarding the completion of self-certification forms by Reportable Persons. The message contained in the notice does not apply to everybody. ‎FIRS will clarify Nigerians on the objectives of the directive.”

Also on Friday, FIRS, in a statement posted on Twitter, explained that the guidelines were only for non-residents, as well as people paying tax in more than one country.

Parts of the FIRS statement read, “The Self Certification Form is basically to be administered on Reportable Persons, holding accounts in Financial institutions, that are regarded as “Reportable Financial Institutions” under the CRS.

“Reportable persons are often non-residents and other persons, who have residence for tax purposes in more than one jurisdiction or country.”

“The information that indicates an account holder is a resident for tax purposes in more than one jurisdiction, is expected to be available to Financial Institutions during account opening processes, for the KYC and AML purpose.”


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Stanbic IBTC Bank Disowns Lagos ATM Fraudster

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Stanbic IBTC Bank PLC has disowned Tope Olajide, 22-year-old fraudster arraigned for theft of customers deposits.

Stanbic IBTC Bank Disowns Lagos ATM Fraudster

The Bank said this in a statement on Wednesday.

The statement said: “The attention of the management of Stanbic IBTC Bank PLC has been drawn to news currently circulating in the media, about the alleged arraignment of staff of the Bank on charges bordering on the theft of customers deposits.

“The Bank would like to clarify that the defendant, a 22-year-old Tope Olajide, IS NOT, and was at no point in time an employee of Stanbic IBTC Bank PLC.

“The alleged culprit was apprehended around 7:30 am, on Thursday, 27 August 2020, by security operatives after he was exposed by CCTV footage using ATM cards he had allegedly stolen and converted, to make withdrawals from the accounts tied to the stolen ATMs.

“The CCTV footage also showed the alleged culprit pretending to assist customers at ATMs whilst also attempting to fraudulently dispossess the customers of their ATMs.

“He was subsequently arraigned before an Ikeja Magistrate Court on Monday, 14 September, for stealing the debit cards of two customers and using them to unlawfully withdraw the sum of N427,000.

“The Bank would also like to implore members of the public to be security conscious when conducting transactions at ATMs. Customers are advised to report any suspicious actions around them to security operatives who are usually stationed around the Bank’s ATMs, when carrying out transactions at any of our ATM locations.

“As an organisation, we hold dear the values of integrity, and we will continue to prioritise the safety of our customers effectively.”


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Buhari Okays Establishment of CBN-Led Infraco

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President Muhammadu  Buhari has approved the establishment of an   Infrastructure Company (Infraco) to be driven by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in partnership with the African Finance Corporation (AFC) and the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA).

Buhari Okays Establishment of CBN-Led Infraco

Mr. Godwin Emefiele, CBN governor

This is coming  on the heels of the foreign reserves’ slump to $36 billion following a cocktail of monetary policy interventions by the apex bank to cushion the scathing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy.

Mr Godwin Emefiele, CBN governor, made these disclosures in Abuja at the annual conference of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) with the theme: Facilitating a Sustainable Future: The role of Banking and Finance.

According to him, Infraco would enable the use of private and public capital to support infrastructure investment that will have a multiplier effect on growth across critical sectors.

“This entity would also be able to raise funds from the capital markets and mobilise long term finance to address some of our infrastructure needs, while providing reasonable returns to investors. “We believe this well-structured fund can act as a catalyst for growth in the medium and the long run. The support of the banking community will be important in achieving this objective.

“A well-built infrastructure system, comprising hard infrastructure such as roads and ports, and soft infrastructure such as broadband penetration, can have a multiplier effect on growth by enabling the expansion of business activities in the country”, he explained.

On foreign reserves, Emefiele attributed its crash to the decline in foreign exchange earnings and subsequent adjustments in the value of the naira to the dollar.


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