Obono-Obla Gives Fresh Update On His Suspension
The former chairman of the now-disbanded Special Investigation Panel for the Recovery of Public Property (SPIP), Okoi Obono-Obla has accused the federal government of sentencing him to a media trial.
Obono-Obla, noted that he is yet to receive any official notification or communication on his suspension from office.
It will be recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari had in August 2019, suspended Okoi Obono-Obla as the Chairman of the Special Investigation Panel for the Recovery of Public Property (SPIP).
Obono-Obla’s suspension was ordered to take effect immediately until completion of the ongoing investigations by Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).
The President then went ahead in September 2019 to dissolve the Okoi Obono-Obla led Special Presidential Investigation Panel for the Recovery of Public Property (SPIP).
The Special Adviser to President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, made this known in a statement on Tuesday, September 17.
However, in a fresh reaction to the on-going saga, Obono-Obla has declared that he has not been served a suspension letter.
The ex-SPIP chairman, in a Facebook post on Saturday, said he has not been given a fair trial so far as the government is only carrying out a media trial against him.
“I was purportedly suspended as Chairman of the now disbanded Special Presidential Investigation Panel for Recovery of Public Property through an announcement in the media! Until this moment I am yet to be served a letter to that effect,” he wrote.
“Prior to my suspension there had been two failed attempts to remove me because I was seen as ‘uncompromising, uncontrollable and a non-team player’ by some people in the upper rung of government. For example on the 25 January, 2019, I received a letter from the Deputy Chief of Staff to the Vice President directing me to suspend the activities of the Panel.
“But I simply decided to ignore the letter because the Panel was only answerable to the President and Commander in Chief by virtue of the provisions of the Recovery of Public Property (Special Provisions) Act, 2004 (not to the office of the Vice President). However, I want to state that my purported suspension was indeed a breach of the dictates of fair hearing and the procedure laid down in the Public Service Rules regarding the suspension of a public officer,” he said.
Obono-Obla also said the procedure for removing a public servant was not followed in his sack.
“In my own case, I was informed in the media of my purported suspension and directed to report myself to ICPC! This is absurd!” he wrote.
“Under our constitutional/criminal jurisprudence a suspect is presumed innocent till the contrary is proved! Directing me via the media to report to ICPC to prove my innocence tantamounts to prejudging me even before commencement of the investigation of the allegations made against me.”
It will be recalled that Obla had also in a letter to President Buhari, accused the office of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo’s office of persecuting him for being loyal to the president.
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