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Buhari adviser denies criticising EFCC, ICPC

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Chief Okoi Obono-Obla


The Special Presidential Investigation Panel on the Recovery of Public Property (SPIP) has accused a national newspaper of twisting quotes by its Chairman, Okoi Obono-Obla.
 
The newspaper (not The Guardian) on Wednesday published a report quoting Obono-Obla as saying that the anti-corruption agencies, particularly the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had been compromised.
 
Obono-Obla was also reported to have questioned why the name of Liyel Imoke, a former Governor of Cross River State, was not in a list of cases of past government officials to be prosecuted provided by the EFCC.
 
The panel, however, said the “reporter completely quoted him (Obono-Obla) out of context and twisted the facts as they were.”In a statement signed by its Head of Media and Communication, Sebastine Eko, the panel noted that Obono-Obla would not cast aspersions on sister anti-corruption agencies, such as EFCC and Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), which are together leading in the fight against corruption of the APC-led government.
 
“To set the records straight, Obono-Obla did not hold a strategy meeting with the Say No Campaign, a civil society organisation, as reported. Rather, the conveners of the Say No Campaign, lead by Mr. Ezenwa Nwagwu and Jaiye Gaskiya, paid him a courtesy visit.
 
“The conveners of the Say No campaign stated categorically that the visit of the group was to ‘seek partnership with the Prosecution’s Office’ because of their (the group’s) passion to fight corruption.

“They also pointed out that ‘the group has been worried about prosecutions in Nigeria especially that of anti-corruption agencies’ because sometimes there were compromising issues that were involved.’ 
 
“This statement was made by Nwagwu and not Obono-Obla, as wrongly reported.”The panel requested a retraction of the report it said is a deliberate attempt to impede the war against corruption of President Muhammadu Buhari.

Meanwhile, the ICPC has hailed volunteers for joining war against corruption, saying it would contribute to the anti-corruption crusade.National Coordinator of NAVC, Mike Sowe, made the commendation in Abeokuta, Akure and Ibadan during the inauguration of the newly-elected officials to steer the affairs of the corps in Ogun, Ondo and Oyo states for a period of two years.

Sowe pointed out that for the war to succeed, individuals and groups need to partner with the anti-corruption agencies. He advised officials and members to remain above board in the conduct of their business, adding: “You are now trend-setters who will reassure our citizens that doing the right thing and abandoning negative behaviour are crucial for progress and development.”

He warned that the commission would not hesitate to prosecute volunteers that commit any criminal offence.In his remarks, the Commissioner of Police, Ogun State, represented by Abiodun Bakare, pledged to stand by NAVC, as it complements ICPC in the effort to rid the state and Nigeria of corruption.

Sector Commander of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), represented by Adesoye Adejoke, lauded the volunteers for choosing to dedicate their time and resources to fight corruption.

Speaking on behalf of the inaugurated volunteers, Idris Abu vowed to perform their functions, as stipulated in the guidelines of the new NAVC, and to do their best to see that corruption is stamped out of their states.


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