For repeatedly failing to honour invitations of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) , Okoi Obono-Obla, former chairman of the Special Investigation Panel for the Recovery of Public Property (SPIP) has been declared wanted by the Commission.
The anti-graft agency said the action was due Obono-Obla’s “repeated failure to appear before it to answer questions bordering on allegations of fraud and corruption”.
Recall that NewsTrack has reported the suspension of Obono-Obla on August 15, 2019 by President Muhammadu Buhari, who declared the suspension would be in force till the conclusion of the investigation of the ICPC.
Read: ‘Obono-Obla asked to step aside over abuse of office: Solicitor-General takes over, ICPC investigates Charges…’
In a statement on Tuesday, October 22, 2019, ICPC said Obono-Obla had refused to honour its invitation over a series of allegations preferred against him.
“The Commission is in receipt of petitions accusing him of abuse of office, falsification of admission records, living above his income and collection of gratification from suspects under his investigation,” it said in a statement.
“The suspended chairman is also facing allegations of working outside the guidelines governing the panel by investigating unauthorized petitions and prosecuting suspects without recourse to the office of the Attorney General of the Federation.
“ICPC had conducted series of investigations on the allegations with preliminary findings showing that some provisions of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000 and extant laws of Nigeria had been allegedly violated by Mr. Obono-Obla.”
The agency said it had established that Obono-Obla left the country in August and had not returned since then.
“Consequently, ICPC had extended several invitations to him, which he had failed to honour without giving any reason,” it said.
“Attempts to track and make him appear before the Commission also failed leading ICPC to contact other law enforcement agencies for assistance concerning his whereabouts.
“One of such contact has yielded results as records from the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) show that Obono-Obla had travelled out of the country.
“The NIS records revealed that he left the country to an undisclosed location on 17th August, 2019, through the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Ikeja and has not returned two months after.”