Buhari Sacks Obla, to face criminal prosecution on alleged financial dealings

Okoi Obono-Obla, the chairman of the Special Investigation Panel for the Recovery of Public Property, Chief Okoi Obono-Obla, has been sacked.

President Muhammadu Buhari terminated his appointment via a letter on Tuesday, Daily Trust reports.

The sack letter, according to the newspaper, was delivered to the Solicitor-General of the Federation and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Justice, Obla’s supervising ministry.

“With the information at our disposal, he will face criminal prosecution on matters related to his alleged financial dealings, as uncovered by the ICPC upon investigation,” Daily Trust quoted a source as saying.

“The government may ask the University of Jos to withdraw his law degree and the Nigerian Law School to debar him from practice.

“This is owing to the conclusion of the ICPC investigation, the recommendations of which were approved in full by President Buhari,” the source added.

The newspaper reported another source as saying: “Actually once when confronted with some of his alleged misconduct and other allegations, Obono-Obla pleaded and was made to sign an undertaking to mend his ways, but no sooner had he signed than he abandoned the undertaking and continued violating the law and regulations in place in the conduct of the work of the panel.

“Following series of violations for which he was queried, Mr. Obla submitted a written undertaking to the effect that the panel under his leadership would only act on a written mandate received from the Presidency, and will seek authorization from the Presidency to undertake fresh mandates in accordance with extant laws of the Federation.

“The main grouse against the panel chairman was that while the panel was supposed to investigate only cases referred to it by the government, according to the law establishing the panel but the chairman has single-handedly taken on cases outside of the panel’s mandate and in gross violation of rule of law, including violations of people’s fundamental human rights.”

In a statement obtained by Igbere TV on Wednesday, the President directed the embattled official to proceed to answer questions from the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).

Igbere TV gathered that Obono-Obla is to face probe over allegations of certificate forgery and other corruption-related matters levelled against him. 

President Buhari said the SPIP boss remains suspended pending the outcome of the investigation by ICPC. 

A letter signed by the Secretary to Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, added that the Solicitor General of the Federation, Dayo Apata, would take charge of the panel on recovery of public property till further notice. 

“President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the suspension from office, with immediate effect, of the Chairman of the Special Investigation Panel for the Recovery of Public Property, Mr Okoi Obono-Obla.

“The suspension shall be in effect until the conclusion of ongoing ICPC investigations into a number of cases relating to Mr. Obono-Obla”, the statement partly read.

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