The House of Representatives has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately sack the Chairman, Special Presidential Investigation Panel, SPIP, Okoi Obono-Obla for certificate forgery and corruption. It also called for the dissolution of the panel headed by Obla, requesting that the Code of Conduct Bureau, CCB, be effectively utilized to perform the function meant for it in the anti-corruption fight.
Members of the House reached the decisions following the recommendations of an ad hoc committee set up to investigate the legality and modus oparandi of the Special Presidential Investigation Panel.
The panel’s report, laid on Thursday by the Chairman of the ad hoc Committee, Aliyu Pategi (PDP, Kwara), indicted Obono-Obla of forgery, arbitrariness and abuse of office and asked the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, to arrest the President’s appointee.
The report aside calling on Buhari to relieve Obono-Obla of his duties as Special Adviser, and to dissolve SPIP henceforth, directed the University of Jos, Nigerian Law School, and the Body of Benchers to withdraw all the law degrees awarded to Obono-Obla, “having been obtained fraudulently.”
The report recommends, “That the House do consider the Report of the ad hoc Committee on Need to Investigate the Legality and Modus Operandi of the Special Presidential Investigation Panel (SPIP) and approve recommendations therein.”
“That Okoi Obono-Obla should be arrested by the Inspector General of Police (IGP) and charged to court for forgery and misrepresentation.
“That the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, should discharge Obono-Obla of his responsibility as Special Adviser and Chairman of the Special Presidential Investigation Panel (SPIP).”
The report said the Recovery of Public Property (Special Provisions) Act, Cap. R4, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, should be repealed, and the Code of Conduct Bureau, CCB, strengthened to fill the gap in the fight against corruption.
Henceforth, the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC, should investigate allegations of corruption contained in the Audit Report of the Auditor-General of the Federation on the financial transactions of SPIP and prosecute culprits, the report added.
Considering the recommendations contained in the report of the ad hoc committee in the Committee of the Whole presided by the Deputy Speaker, Hon. Yusuf Lasun on Thursday, the House also called the Independent Corruption Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC, to prosecute Obono-Obla.
Hon. Kingsley Chinda from Rivers State moved the motion on behalf of Patigi who was not present on the floor for the consideration of the recommendations, saying: “That the House do consider the report of the ad hoc committee on the Need to Investigate the Legality and Modus Oparandi of the Special Presidential Investigation Panel and approve the recommendations (Laid July 27, 2018).”