Why ICPC declared Buhari’s former aide wanted

The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has declared former Chairman of the Special Investigation Panel for the Recovery of Public Property (SPIP), Mr Okoi Obono-Obla, wanted.

This was disclosed in a statement issued by the spokesperson of the ICPC, Rasheedat Okoduwa, on Tuesday, October 22. She confirmed the “repeated failure” of Obono-Obla to appear before the commission.

This is in relation to charges bordering on allegations of fraud and corruption.

In August, President Muhammadu Buhari suspended the suspect, who was also his Special Assistant on Prosecution. Indeed, his suspension came after the ICPC indicted him for certificate forgery and other corruption-related allegations.

Okoduwa itemised the allegations against him to include overstepping guidelines governing the panel by investigating unauthorised petitions.

“Obono-Obla is facing a series of allegations leveled against him by members of the public on his role as head of the government panel on asset recovery.

“The Commission is in receipt of petitions accusing him of abuse of office, falsification of admission records; living above his income and collection of gratification from suspects under his investigation.

“The suspended chairman is also facing allegations of working outside the guidelines governing the panel by investigating unauthorised petitions,’’ she said.
Furthermore, she accused Obono-Obla of prosecuting suspects without recourse to the office of the Attorney General of the Federation.

“ICPC had conducted series of investigations on the allegations with preliminary findings showing that some provisions of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000 and extant laws of Nigeria had been allegedly violated by Mr Obono-Obla.

“Consequently, ICPC had extended several invitations to him, which he had failed to honour without giving any reason.

“Attempts to track and make him appear before the commission also failed; leading ICPC to contact other law enforcement agencies for assistance concerning his whereabouts.

“One of such contact has yielded results…Records from the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) show that Mr Obono-Obla had travelled out of the country.

“The NIS records revealed that he left the country to an undisclosed location on 17th August 2019, through the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Ikeja, and has not returned two months after,’’ she said.

Ng daily

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