An FCT High Court sitting in Abuja has discharged and acquitted the suspended Director-General of the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) Munir Gwarzo and his co-defendant, a former Executive Commissioner Corporate Services, Zakwanu Garuba, who were charged to court by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).
Justice Hussein Baba-Yusuf ruled that the five charges against Mr. Gwarzo and his co-accused have not been proven by the ICPC.
The court held that while the ICPC did not implicate Mr. Gwarzo in their testimony, the remaining witnesses who are operatives of the ICPC contradicted themselves and that no reasonable tribunal could find the defendant guilty.
In his ruling on a no-case submission filed by both defendants, justice Hussein Baba-Yusuf held that the burden of proof was on the prosecution to prove the essential elements in the charges as required by law but through its own witnesses and exhibit which include a board resolution which approved the benefits for an Executive Director who had spent more than two years in office, the charge against Mr. Gwarzo has not been established.
The trial judge said that the 4th prosecution witness agreed under cross-examination that the board resolution was lawful.
He also held that the testimony of the prosecution witness number two clearly shows that the first defendant had no role in deciding what was entitled to him and as such could not have used his office to enrich himself.
Justice Baba-Yusuf concluded that the evidence cannot be used by any court or tribunal to convict Gwarzo, he therefore discharged and acquitted him.
In the case of the second defendant, Mr. Zakwanu Garuba, Justice Yusuf held that no prima facie case had been established against Mr. Garuba who acted based on a decision of the governing board of SEC which is the highest decision-making body of the commission as such, no case had been proven against him.