Just before 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday evening, selected journalists got mails from the finance ministry of an impending ‘news break.’
“Kindly await a major news break from the Federal Ministry of Finance today at 6.30 p.m.,” Oluyinka Akintunde, the spokesperson of the Finance Minister, Kemi Adeosun, said; an indication that a decision to be announced to the public about 90 minutes later had already been made.
Less than an hour after Mr. Akintunde’s mail, the news was announced. Munir Gwarzo, the Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, had been suspended.
Suspended alongside Mr. Gwarzo were two officials of the regulatory commission, Abdulsalam Habu, Head of Media Division, and Anastasia Braimoh, Head of Legal Department.
The finance ministry in the statement signed by Patricia Deworitshe, Deputy Director, Press, announced that the officials were suspended based on corruption allegations against them.
“The Honourable Minister has set up an Administrative Panel of Inquiry (API) to investigate and determine the culpability of the Director-General”, Ms. Deworitshe announced.
Ms. Deworitshe did not announce the reason why it took the finance minister 10 months to acknowledge and act after the allegations were made to her office and anti-corruption agencies against Mr. Gwarzo and the two others.