Former chairman of the Special Investigation Panel for the Recovery of Public Property (SPIP), Okoi Obono-Obla has accused the office of Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo of persecuting him due to his loyalty to President Muhammadu Buhari.
The SPIP was established in order to check the cases of corruption, abuse of office and related offences by pubic officers.
Obono-Obla in a letter to President Muhammadu Buhari, said that some principal members of the vice-president’s office, asked him to compromise an investigation but he refused.
He further noted that they are persecuting him because he chose to be loyal to the president.
“My travails started with my appointment as Chairman of the Special Presidential Investigation Panel for the Recovery of Public Property in July 2017!” the letter read.
He said the Panel was established during the time Vice President Yemi Osinbajo was Acting President.
Obono-Obla said Osinbajo appointed one of his Special Assistants, Adeniran Gbolahan as Secretary while explaining that he later had a bitter disagreement on whether the panel has to seek mandates from the Vice President before it begins any of its investigation.
“The Panel was constituted when the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo was Acting President. He accordingly appointed one of his Special Assistants, Adeniran Gbolahan, as Secretary. Later I had a bitter disagreement concerning whether or not the Panel should wait for mandates from the Vice President before it can commence any investigation.
“The Secretary enjoyed the support of the Vice President through the Deputy Chief of Staff, Ade Ipaye. Mr. Ipaye sided Mr. Gbolahan against me.”
Obono-Obla alleged he was also saddled with investigating cases of corruption among some members of the national assembly by the office of the vice-president.
He said Mr. Ipaye then wrote a letter to stop the panel from investigating of a case of contract scam which was reported by Nigerian Ports Authority…..
He said Mr. Ipaye had In April 2018, invited him to his office and instructed me not to proceed with the investigation of some members of the National Assembly.
“When the Secretary of the Panel, Mr. Gbolahan left in 2018, he was replaced by Mr. Obinna Ogwuegbu, a nominee of the Vice President who started another bouts of antagonism and malice against me on the prompting of Mr. Ipaye.”
The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) declared Obono-Obla wanted.
The president also dissolved the panel pending the outcome of an investigation into allegations of forgery and financial impropriety against him by the ICPC.
But the ex-SPIP chairman said the ICPC is being used as a tool by the ”conspirators” against him.
“I have suffered so much persecution and witch-hunting because of the fact that I have carried out my assignment with patriotism, dedication, commitment and conviction. I don’t deserve this persecution and witch-hunt because of my refusal to be disloyal to Mr. President and allow the office of the Vice President to use the Panel to serve vested interest,” he said.
“The ICPC which is now being used against me is under the protege of the Vice President, Professor Bolaji Owasanoye. Professor Bolaji Owasanoye was part and parcel of the conspirators against me!
“I was also persecuted by the National Assembly! The whole issue of my purported certificate forgery was masterminded by the House of Representatives to get back at me because I had the guts to initiate an investigation against some powerful Senators.
Obono-Obla said he had called the attention of Buhari to the challenges, but that nothing has been done.