The Federal Ministry of Justice on Thursday confirmed the suspension of chairman of the Special Presidential Investigation Panel on the Recovery of Public Property, Okoi Obono-Obla.
It said the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission had submitted to President Muhammadu Buhari, an interim report of investigation on various allegations leveled against Obono-Obla.
According to a statement by the ministry’s Deputy Director, Public Affairs, James Odaudu, some of allegations for which Obono-Obla was investigated included abuse of office, intimidation, unauthorised malicious investigation, financial impropriety, administrative misconduct and forgery/falsification of records.
It stated that Buhari ordered Obono-Obla’s suspension due to the crisis that followed various petitions in which the various allegations were leveled against the presidential aide.
The statement said the ICPC should conclude its investigations and proceed to prosecute him, while the Solicitor-General of the Federation and Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Mr. Dayo Apata, had been directed to take charge of SPIP.
The statement reads, “Following the crisis arising from a series of petitions from legal practitioners, concerned public spirited citizens and public officers, alleging abuse of office, intimidation, unauthorised malicious investigation, financial impropriety, administrative misconduct and forgery/falsification of records by the Chairman of the Special Investigation Panel for the Recovery of Public Property, Chief Okoi Obono-Obla, President Muhammadu Buhari has directed his immediate suspension from office.
“The suspension follows the receipt and consideration of the interim investigative report of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission on the matter.
“The President has also directed that the ICPC should conclude its investigations and proceed to prosecute Chief Okoi Obono-Obla.
“Meanwhile, the Solicitor-General of the Federation and Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Justice, Dayo Apata, Esq. has been directed to immediately take over the affairs of the Special Investigative Panel, SPIP.”