Justice Hussein Baba Yusuf on Tuesday discharged the suspended Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Dr Mounir Gwarzo, on charges of N115 fraud.

Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) charged Gwarzo with an Executive Commissioner in the commission, Zakawanu Garuba, with five counts of alleged misappropriation to the tune of about N115 million and conferment of corrupt advantage on a public officer .

The commission accused Gwarzo of committing fraud to the tune of about N115 million in June, 2015, when he was SEC Director-General.

It alleged that Gwarzo received N104,851,154.94 as severance benefits when he had yet to retire, resign or disengage from the service of the organisation.

It added that the director-general conferred a corrupt advantage upon himself when he received N10,983,488.88 in excess of car grant payable to him.

The commission accused Garuba of conniving with Gwarzo to commit the fraud.

The defendants, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.

In Tuesday’s ruling, the judge, Baba-Yusuf, held that the prosecution did not establish any prima facie case against the defendants.

He held that the prosecution failed to establish the essential elements of the offence for which the defendants were charged and subsequently discharged them.

On Feb. 7, the defendants’ counsel, Abdulhakeem Mustapha, SAN, and Robert Emupkoeruo, informed the court of their intention to file no-case submission.

They made the prayer after the prosecuting counsel, Mr Adesina Raheem, told the court that the prosecution was closing its case against the defendants with the testimony of the fifth prosecution witness (PW5), Taiwo Olorunyomi.-Punch