I don’t know why my office was sealed, says Obono-Obla
• Condemns arm-twisting of panel officials by ‘highly-placed Nigerians’
• Make sure SPIP’s operation is not hampered, group tells Buhari
Chairman of the Special Presidential Investigational Panel for the Recovery of Public Property (SPIP), Okoi Obono-Obla, yesterday said he was yet to receive any official briefing concerning the purported sealing of the SPIP office in Abuja by armed policemen.
Obono-Obla, in a statement in Abuja, said it was difficult to know the true position of the issue since SPIP’s members of staff are observing the Eid-el-Kabir holidays and away from the office desks.
He alleged that some ‘highly placed Nigerians’ wishing to protect some persons under investigation were arm-twisting the panel officials, thereby distracting the panel from carrying out its lawful mandate.
According to him, the panel has examples of many high-profile cases where misappropriated public funds were traced to the personal bank accounts of public servants and rather than explain the source of the funds, they resort to false petitions and unfairly attacking the officials of the panel.
He said: “The efforts of the SPIP in the fight against corruption in Nigeria deserve to be recognised. Instead, we are being dismissed with misleading scare stories and arm-twisting of the panel officials by ‘highly placed Nigerians’ wishing to protect some persons under our investigation and thereby distracting the panel from carrying out its lawful mandate.”
Meanwhile, Obla had earlier at the weekend confirmed to The Guardian that his office in Abuja was sealed by the police. He said that he was still having his job, describing the office sealing as “corruption fighting back.”
Meanwhile, the Foundation Against Fraud, Indiscipline and Corruption (FAFIC) and Buharist Hangout (BHO) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari, the Inspector-General of Police, the Ministry of Justice and all relevant authorities to urgently investigate the issues surrounding the SPIP with a view to protecting the panel and strengthening it to ensure its work is not hampered.
The group, in a statement signed by FAFIC Lead Admin, Uche Diala and Director Operations of BHO, Efe Wiliams, noted that Nigerians would accept nothing less.
“Corruption is surely fighting back but we cannot afford to allow corruption to win,” it said.