‘I am Not Aware of Any Directive From Vice-President, I Report To Mr. President’ – Okoi Obono-Obla
By Niyi Busari
Chairman of the Special Presidential Investigation Panel on Recovery of Publuc Property (SPIP), Barrister Okoi Obono-Obla, has described a report that the Vice-President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo in three different letters warned the panel to soft-pedal or stop all the panel’s activities as a figment of the imagination.
According to a report in a national online news tabloid, three different letters have been written from the office of the Vice President to the anti-corruption boss to either stop or soft-pedal in all activities of the panel until Mr. President gives order to do otherwise.
“As envisaged by section (1) 1 of the recovery of Public Properties Act, he should refrain from carrying out any activities as Chairman of the Special Presidential Investigation Panel on Recovery of Public Property (SPIP), Until His Excellency, direct otherwise. It therefore, came as a surprise that Chief Okoi Obono-Obla had issued notices to several judges to declare their assets without receiving any specific mandate in that regard, ” one of the letters reads.
In a swift reaction during an interview with www.bsnsports.com.ng Okoi Obono-Obla denied having knowledge of such directive from the presidency adding that Muhammadu Buhari led administration do not encourage interference with the panel’s duties.
He also reiterated that he reports directly to Mr. President by the law setting up the Panel. According to him, he has never carried out any activity without President Muhammadu Buhari directive.
In his words: “The news about the purported warning from the office if the Vice-president is a figment of their imagination! There is no such directive. And I report directly to Mr. President by the law that sets up the Panel. As far as I am concerned, the news is total rubbish.” Obla told Basic Sports in Nigeria.
“It rather shows that I am uncompromising fearless and courageous. I don’t allow anybody to interfere in my work and Mr. President has a policy of non-interference.” He concluded.
Top five Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) officials have been indicted by the Panel after SPIP had completed its investigation on NFF President, Amaju Pinnick, First Vice-president, Seyi Akinwunmi, second vice president, Shehu Dikko, Secretary-General Sanusi Mohammed, and Board member Ahmed Yusuf Fresh. The panel has vowed that nothing will stop it from bringing the NFF officials to book.