Wanted Obono-obla at­tends so­cial func­tions in C’river

The Punch - - NEWS - Olufemi Atoyebi, Abuja

The for­mer chair­man of the Spe­cial In­ves­ti­ga­tion Panel for the Re­cov­ery of Pub­lic Prop­erty, Okoi Obono-obla, who was de­clared wanted by the In­de­pen­dent Cor­rupt Prac­tices and other re­lated of­fences Com­mis­sion on Thurs­day re­leased a mes­sage on his Face­book page, which sug­gested he was in Nige­ria at­tend­ing so­cial func­tions.

The ICPC de­clared Obonoobla wanted in a state­ment signed by its spokesper­son, Rashee­dat Oko­duwa, ac­cus­ing him of fail­ing to hon­our its in­vi­ta­tion over al­le­ga­tions bor­der­ing on fraud and cor­rup­tion.

The state­ment said there was ev­i­dence that Obono-obla left Nige­ria in Au­gust and had yet to re­turn to the coun­try.

It stated fur­ther that Obono-obla was fac­ing al­le­ga­tions against him by mem­bers of the pub­lic on his role as the head of the SPIP.

The state­ment read, “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 and prose­cut­ing sus­pects with­out re­course to the of­fice of the At­tor­ney Gen­eral of the Fed­er­a­tion.”

ICPC claimed it had con­ducted a 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 vi­o­lated by Obono-obla.

The com­mis­sion stated that records from the Nige­ria Im­mi­gra­tion Ser­vice showed that Obono-obla trav­elled out of the coun­try to an undis­closed lo­ca­tion on Au­gust 17 through the Mur­tala Mo­hammed In­ter­na­tional Air­port, Ikeja, La­gos and had not re­turned since.

Ear­lier on Au­gust 15, 2019, the com­mis­sion in­vited Obono-obla for ques­tion­ing af­ter his re­moval from of­fice through a let­ter signed by the

Sec­re­tary to the Gov­ern­ment of the Fed­er­a­tion, Boss Mustapha, on Au­gust 14. The let­ter, with ref­er­ence num­ber 58788/S.75.18/T1/100, said the Pres­i­dent, Ma­jor Gen­eral Muham­madu Buhari (retd), had ap­proved his im­me­di­ate sus­pen­sion pend­ing the in­ves­ti­ga­tion of ICPC into al­leged fal­si­fi­ca­tion of records and fi­nan­cial im­pro­pri­ety.

But in a dar­ing mes­sage on Face­book on Thurs­day morn­ing, Obono-obla stated that he at­tended the un­veil­ing of a book writ­ten by Abam Iwara on Tues­day, De­cem­ber 24, 2019, at The Pres­by­te­rian Pri­mary School, Ugep in the Yakurr Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Area of Cross River State.

The for­mer SPIP chair­man wrote, “I love the dis­ci­pline of history! A so­ci­ety with­out history is a dead one! It is history that shapes the cul­tural, le­gal, eco­nomic and po­lit­i­cal cir­cum­stances of any given so­ci­ety or coun­try!

“On the 24th De­cem­ber, 2019, I at­tended the un­veil­ing of a book ti­tled ‘Top­ics in African history: Be­fore 1800 and in the 19th and 20th Cen­turies’, writ­ten by Chief Abam Iwara @ The Pres­by­te­rian Pri­mary School, Ugep, Yakurr Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Area of Cross River State.

“To en­cour­age the work of the au­thor, I bought 250 copies of the book. I have de­cided to do­nate 50 copies of the book to five sec­ondary schools in Yakurr Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Area of Cross River State to pro­mote the study of history. The fore­word of the book is writ­ten by my hum­ble self.”

In another post, Obonoobla re­leased a pic­ture claim­ing that Obol Lo­pon of Idomi, Yakurr Coun­cil Area of Cross River State and his en­tourage paid him a visit on Thurs­day, De­cem­ber 26. In the pic­ture are Obono-obla, two peo­ple in tra­di­tional at­tire (whom he claimed to have paid him the visit) and two chil­dren.

When our correspond­ent con­tacted the ICPC’S spokesper­son, Oko­duwa, to in­quire if Obono-obla wanted or­der had been lifted or still sub­sist­ing, she said through a text mes­sage that she was on leave and had to con­tact a de­part­ment of the anti-graft agency.

her mes­sage read, “I am cur­rently on leave, I will have to find out from the en­force­ment de­part­ment.”

A source at the com­mis­sion, who spoke on con­di­tion of anonymity, told our correspond­ent that Obono-obla was still wanted, de­scrib­ing the posts as taunt di­rected at the ICPC.

•Gov­er­nor of La­gos State, Mr Baba­jide Sanwo-olu, in­ter­act­ing with med­i­cal of­fi­cials and pa­tients at the La­gos Is­land Gen­eral Hos­pi­tal, Broad Street, La­gos, dur­ing the gov­er­nor’s visit to the health fa­cil­ity …on Thurs­day. Photo: La­gos State Gov­ern­ment

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