President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) to prosecute the Chairman of the Special Investigation Panel for the Recovery of Public Property (SPIP), Chief Okoi Obono-Obla of sundry allegations bordering on alleged abuse of office and financial impropriety.
The directive followed his suspension by the President following a series of petitions against him from spirited Nigerians and concerned groups over acts of misconduct.
Meanwhile, President Buhari has directed the Solicitor General of the Federation and Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Justice, Dayo Apata to immediately take over the affairs of the panel.
This was contained in a statement Thursday by Joseph Daudu, Deputy Director, Public Affairs, Federal Ministry of Justice.
The statement explained that “following the crisis arising from series of petitions from legal practitioners, concerned public-spirited citizens and public officers, alleging abuse of office, intimidation, unauthorized malicious investigation, financial impropriety, administrative misconduct and forgery/falsification of records by the Chairman of the Special Investigation Panel for the Recovery of Public Property (SPIP), Chief Okoi Obono-Obla, President Muhammadu Buhari has directed his immediate suspension from office.
“The suspension follows the receipt and consideration of the interim investigative report of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) on the matter.
“The President has also directed that the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) should conclude its investigations and proceed to prosecute Chief Okoi Obono-Obla.
The Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Justice Minister had earlier recommended to the Presidency, among others “that a thorough investigation be conducted into the allegations of forgery leveled against Mr Obono-Obla,” while also proposing suspending him from office.”
The Presidency has also received more recently an indicting report on the Panel Chairman bordering on acts of forgery and misconduct.
According to the Office of the Attorney-General, Mr Obono-Obla has been accused on various issues “ranging from abuse of office, intimidation and unauthorized malicious investigations, financial impropriety, administrative misconduct, and allegations of forgery/falsification or records, to mention but a few.”