- Eight cases involving some politically exposed people have been transferred to CCB for probe
- The concerned individuals such as David Mark, Stella Oduah and others were said to have acquired properties beyond their legitimate earnings
- Many of those named in the cases have argued that the SPIP lacks the powers to initiate charges against them
Special Presidential Investigative Panel for the Recovery of Public Property (SPIP) on Wednesday, June 5, said corruption cases of eight politicians have been transferred to the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) for investigation.
The Nation reports that SPIP chairman Okoi Obono-Obla said the panel discovered that the politicians acquired properties beyond their legitimate earnings.
Obono-Obla identified those involved to include former Senate president David Mark, Senator Stella Oduah, Senator Hope Uzodinma, Senator Peter Nwaoboshi, Senator Albert Bassey and a director in the federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, Ibrahim Musa Tumsah.
The SPIP had before now filed charges before the Federal High Court, Abuja against most of those named in the cases transferred to the CCB on the same issue of non-assets declaration.
Mark has a suit pending before the Federal High Court, Abuja in which he is challenging the activities of the panel, particularly the SPIP’s claim that he unlawfully acquired his property in Abuja.
The charge the panel filed against Senator Oduah was assigned to Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu, but no further steps have been taken by the panel since it filed the charge last year.
The charge against Uzodimna is before Justice Okon Abang. But the office of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) recently took over the prosecution of the case from the SPIP. The charge against Sen. Bassey is before Justice John Tsoho.
Many of those named in the cases have argued that the SPIP lacks the powers to initiate charges against them, citing the judgment of the Court of Appeal in the Tumsah case.
Recall that Legit.ng reported that the House of Representatives declared the SPIP as illegal and unnecessary. The House ad-hoc committee investigating the legality and modus operandi of the panel made the declaration on Tuesday, April 24, during a public hearing.
The committee, chaired by Aliyu Ahman Pategi said the Okoi Obono-Obla-led panel was illegal due to inadequacy of extant laws establishing it, its confrontational mode of operations and the fact that there were government agencies, such as Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) already saddled with the responsibilities of the panel.
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