Anti-corruption: Obono-Obla decries smear campaign against presidential panel

Anti-corruption: Obono-Obla decries smear campaign against presidential panel

- A presidential aide, Okoi Obono-Obla, has accused some powerful people of preventing corrupt officials from being prosecuted

- Obla, the chairman of Special Presidential Investigation Panel for the Recovery of Public Properties (SPIP), said these people are using smear campaigns to make his panel look bad to people

- Obono-Obla assured that his panel remained committed to President Buhari's anti-corruption and will not step out of the law to achieve its mandate

The Chairman of the Special Presidential Investigation Panel for the Recovery of Public Properties (SPIP), Okoi Obono-Obla, has accused some powerful people of protecting corrupt individuals under investigations.

Obono-Obla said in a statement on Monday, August 12 that the seal-off of his panel's offices is a smear campaign by the powerful individuals.

Vanguard reports that the presidential aide stated that his panel has always stayed within the law in its investigations and that it was corrupt individuals that were working against the SPIP.

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He said: “It is time we call the myths out for what they are, as the news making the rounds appears to us a smear campaign from people with their protectionist agenda in favour of persons being investigated. The pictures you are being painted of SPIP bears no resemblance to the reality on the ground. The SPIP from inception has worked within the dictates of its mandate and takes tremendous pride in the work it does towards recovering misappropriated government funds."

He added that all of SPIP's actions are in line with President Muhammadu Buhari's anti-corruption war and it was only jittery people that started a smear campaign against the panel.

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“SPIP officials have made and continue to vitally make contributions to the fight against corruption and daily we are recovering monies owed the government in billions and calling upon persons considered “untouchable” who have illegally enriched themselves from government coffers at the expense of members of the public to come forward and answer to their crimes and make refunds of misappropriated government monies.

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“The efforts of the SPIP in the fight against corruption deserves to be recognised, instead, we are being dismissed with misleading scare stories and arm-twisting of the panel officials by ‘highly-placed Nigerians’ wishing to protect some persons under our investigation and thereby distracting the panel from carrying out its lawful mandate."

Obono-Obla gave an example of the problems SPIP was facing in its investigations of corrupt individuals.

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He said: “We have examples of high profile cases where misappropriated public funds have been traced to personal accounts of public servants and rather than explain the source of the funds, they resort to false petitions and unfairly attacking the officials of the panel.”

Recall that reported recently that SPIP discovered over N3bn in several accounts belonging to two senior civil servants.

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The discovery was made public by SPIP chairman Obono-Obla, in a press conference on Tuesday, July 9.

The civil servants were identified as Dr Goody Nnadi, the general manager, Corporate Services, and Aisha F. Usman, the general manager, Operations, both with the Petroleum Equalization Fund (PEF). ( -> We have upgraded to serve you better

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