Thursday, October 29, 2020

Nigeria: Former Aide to President Buhari disappeared amid corruption investigation

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Okoi Obono-Obla, a former aide to President Buhari, has been declared wanted by the Independent Corrupt Practices And Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).

Mr Obono-Obla headed a special panel on the recovery of government property before he was suspended by Mr Buhari in August over an allegation of corruption.

The ICPC in a statement on Tuesday said Mr Obono-Obla left Nigeria to an undisclosed location, even though he was under investigation.

The commission said the former presidential aide repeatedly failed to appear before it to answer questions on the allegations against him.

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Read ICPC’s full statement below:

Corruption: ICPC declares Ex-Presidential Aide, Obono-Obla Wanted

ICPC has declared the suspended Chairman of the Special Investigation Panel for the Recovery of Public Property (SPIP), Mr. Okoi Ofem Obono-Obla, wanted due to his repeated failure to appear before it to answer questions bordering on allegations of fraud and corruption.

Mr Obono-Obla is facing series of allegations leveled against him by members of the public on his role as head of the government panel on asset recovery.

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The Commission is in receipt of petitions accusing him of abuse of office, falsification of admission records, living above his income and collection of gratification from suspects under his investigation.

The suspended chairman is also facing allegations of working outside the guidelines governing the panel by investigating unauthorized petitions and prosecuting suspects without recourse to the office of the Attorney General of the Federation.

ICPC had conducted series of investigations on the allegations with preliminary findings showing that some provisions of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000 and extant laws of Nigeria had been allegedly violated by Mr. Obono-Obla.

Consequently, ICPC had extended several invitations to him, which he had failed to honour without giving any reason. Attempts to track and make him appear before the Commission also failed leading ICPC to contact other law enforcement agencies for assistance concerning his whereabouts.

One of such contacts has yielded results as records from the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) show that Mr. Obono-Obla had travelled out of the country.

The NIS records revealed that he left the country to an undisclosed location on 17th August, 2019, through the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Ikeja, and has not returned two months after.

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