Chairman of the Special Presidential Investigation Panel on the Recovery of Public Property, Mr. Okoi Obono-Obla has cried out that internal sabotage within the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC to cripple the anti-corruption fight of the Muhammadu Buhari administration.
Okoi Obono-obla disclosed this while reacting to the sealing of the committee’s office in Abuja, Obono-Obla said that it followed the pattern of interference of the work of the committee by persons within the administration.
Meanwhile, uncertainty has continued to surround the position of Obono-Obla as the
presidency is still mute on whether he has been fired or not.
Reacting to his purported sack, Obono-Obla told newsmen, “They say I am uncontrollable, I don’t know how they want to control an anti-corruption fighter. If you are not the kind of
person I am, you can’t fight corruption because corruption is systematic, it is endemic in Nigeria. So, you need a rugged person”.
“The President said all anti-corruption agencies should be given an absolute free hand to work, there should not be any interference. The President has never sacked me but they have sacked me many times”.
“Sometimes, they write letters to me that I should suspend my work. In January I got a
letter from the Deputy Chief of Staff, office of the Vice President that I should suspend all investigations that government wants to carry out a review and I said if the President was doing that, it should come from the Chief of Staff to the President.
“When I arrested one oil mogul, we investigated the company and discovered that the company had not paid three million dollars to the Federal Government, they have oil bloc.
When I arrested him to get the money from him, I had a lot of phone calls from the same people and they have not been happy with me, that was in July that I touched somebody who is close to them. Obono-Obla further said : “These are all the forces and the ICPC has joined them.
Why should they go and seal a government office on a non working day? It is absurd. If they want to sack me, they should sack me and not to close down government
office and order everybody inside not to come out and that nobody should go in.”
Asked whether he has reported to the President, he said, “You know we are on public holiday and I am in my village in Cross River State, I am not in Abuja. It was on Saturday I got a phone call from security personnel guarding the office that an Area Commander of the Nigeria Police from Asokoro came and told them that they have orders from above that my office should be sealed up.
“This is a government office, we have sensitive security documents there. If they want to remove me, they should tell me and I will handover all the government documents in my custody, sensitive documents and case files to whoever is taking over from me.
“I only heard of my purported removal from the report in the Premium Times. The law that sets up the panel says I am directly answerable to Mr. President, I report to the President.”
On whether he has offended any member of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, as his travail was internal, he said,
“I don’t know and I don’t care because my work is not to be selective. Corruption has no APC or PDP on the face, anybody can be corrupt.
“When I am investigating corrupt people, I cannot be selective, that is my offense because I have been very uncompromising. I don’t know why they want to control me. They gave me the job in the first place because I have the gut, I have the heart and the passion to do it, so they should allow me.
“I have gone into a lot of areas other anti-corruption agencies have not gone into.
“The National Assembly, a Committee of the House of Representatives purportedly
investigated me, they came after me, that is what I am suffering. Obono-Obla also said :
“They asked the President to remove me and the President ignored them because I did nothing wrong. But this one is as a result of the corruption case I am handling like the petroleum Equalization Fund, PEF. ”