Obono-Obla In Fresh Trouble
A former chairman of the Special Investigation Panel for the Recovery of Public Property (SPIP), Okoi Obono-Obla has been accused of carrying out investigations beyond the mandate of his office.
A report submitted to Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo by Abubakar Malami, the attorney-general of the federation (AGF), accused Obono-Obla of investigating 50 cases without authorisation
It will be recalled that following the sack of Obono-Obla in August, Malami was mandated to investigate several allegations against him.
According to a report monitored by Naija News on The Nation, Malami alleged that two cases were officially referred to the SPIP, but Obono-Obla went ahead to investigate 50 cases without authorisation.
The report also said the panel lacks the power to prosecute cases but Obla went ahead to engage lawyers for the prosecution of cases without due recourse to the AGF.
“Contrary to the fact that the Panel is an investigative panel by its enabling law, which lacks prosecutorial powers, Mr. Obla has unlawfully engaged lawyers to file charges against suspects without any recourse to the Honourable Attorney-General of the Federation,” the letter read.
“Your Excellency may recall the unauthorised investigation of several judges, initiated by Mr. Obla through the issuance of notices to them to declare their assets, an obligation which these Honourable Judges had hitherto complied with through the authorised agency – the Code of Conduct Bureau.
“This impudent and embarrassing action incurred the disapproval of Your Excellency, the Vice President and the subsequent suspension of the Chairman, Mr. Obla in 2017 via the State House letter Ref No. SH/OVP/DCOS/FMJ/0424 dated 20 October 2017 ‘Annexure L’ and further necessitated my office writing to the Honourable Judges to recall the said notices.
The report further also said Obono-Obla’s action could easily have been misconstrued to be an attempt by the executive to intimidate other arms of government.
“This singular act by the Chairman of the Panel could easily have been misconstrued as a form of intimidation and interference by the Executive on the Judiciary, contrary to the principles of separation of power.
“It is evident from the present petitions and several other petitions that the Chairman of the Panel has not in any form complied with the enabling law of the Panel as communicated to him, reneged with the directives of the Presidency with grave and audacious impunity. Indeed, none of the investigations appear to have been authorised by the Presidency, a clear contravention of the Panel’s enabling law.”
Meanwhile, Naija News earlier reported that Obono-Obla on Sunday, accused the office of Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo of persecuting him due to his loyalty to President Muhammadu Buhari.
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.
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