ICPC Arraigns Ex-Presidential Aide, Obono-Obla Over Alleged Certificate Forgery

A file photo of Mr Okoi Obono-Obla,

 

The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has arraigned a former presidential aide, Mr Okoi Obono-Obla, over allegations of certificate forgery.

Obono-Obla is the former Chairman of the Special Presidential Investigation Panel (SPIP) for the Recovery of Public Property.

He was charged with two counts before Justice C.L. Dabup of the Jos Judicial Division of the High Court of Plateau State, a statement by ICPC’s spokesperson, Azuka Ogugua, said on Monday.

ICPC maintained its allegations that the former SPIP chair presented a fake result with a credit pass in English Literature to the University of Jos, with which he secured admission to study law.

“The charge filed before Justice C. L. Dabup revealed that while Obono-Obla did not seat for the Ordinary Level, General Certificate Examination (GCE) in English Literature in 1982, he presented a result of the same GCE to the University of Jos, in 1985, containing Credit 6 from Mary Knoll College, Ogoja,” the statement alleged.

“He was alleged to have committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 366 of the Penal Code Law of Plateau State.”

But Obono-Obla was said to have entered a not guilty plea on each of the two counts when they were read to him.

Thereafter, his counsel, M.A. Agara, filed an application in which he urged the court to grant his client bail on self-recognisance.

Obono-Obla’s counsel had also filed a motion contesting the jurisdiction of the court on the matter, as well as accused the prosecution of bringing a defective charge before the court.

He prayed the court not to allow the charge to be read to the defendant.

In his argument, ICPC’s lead counsel, Henry Emore, who opposed the motion challenging the jurisdiction of the court, submitted that the defendant was brought before the court because the offence of certificate forgery was allegedly committed in Jos where the court seats.

He, however, did not oppose the bail application, he urged the court to admit the defendant to bail on stringent terms.

Justice Dabup, in her ruling on the bail application, admitted Obono-Obla to bail in the sum of N1 million with one surety in like sum.

She also ruled that the surety must be resident within the jurisdiction of the court and must submit an affidavit of means, including a tax clearance certificate showing evidence of payment for three years.

The judge later adjourned the case till November 25, 2021, for trial.

ICPC Declares Ex-Presidential Aide, Obono-Obla Wanted

Mr Okoi Obono-Obla

 

The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has declared the former Chairman of the Special Presidential Investigation Panel on the Recovery of Public Property (SPIP), Okoi Obono-Obla, wanted.

The anti-graft agency made this announcement in a statement signed by its spokesperson, Rasheedat Okoduwa, on Tuesday.

Obono-Obla is wanted by the ICPC due to “his repeated failure to appear before it to answer questions bordering on allegations of fraud and corruption.”

The former presidential aide, according to ICPC, is facing a series of allegations levelled against him by members of the public on his role as head of the government panel on asset recovery.

“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.

“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,” the statement read in part.

ICPC said they have 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.

“Consequently, ICPC had extended several invitations to him, which he had failed to honour without giving any reason. 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 Mr. Obono-Obla had travelled out of the country,” the statement read in part.

According to the EFCC, 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.

Reps Call For Prosecution Of Okoi Obono-Obla

A House of Representatives adhoc committee set up to investigate the legality and modus operandi of the Special Presidential Investigation Panel on Asset Recovery, has called for the prosecution of the chairman of the panel, Okoi Obono-Obla.

The chairman of the ad hoc committee, Aliyu Pategi, who laid the report before the House on Thursday, said the committee had indicted Mr Obono-Obla for alleged forgery, arbitrariness and abuse of office.

Reps during plenary on Thursday.

Read Also: Public Property Recovery: FG Drops Obono-Obla As Investigation Panel Chair

The committee is also calling for the dissolution of the panel by the president and that the law degree of Mr Obono-Obla be withdrawn on grounds of alleged forgery.

Furthermore, the report which was adopted by the House wants the body of benchers to withdraw the Call to Bar certificate of Mr Obono-Obla.

The committee alleges that he has failed to appear before it since it began its probe in June 2018.

Anti-Corruption War: Anybody Who Crosses The Line Will Be Crushed – Obono-Obla

Fighting Corruption: Anybody Who Crosses The Line Will Be Crushed – Obono-Obla
Okoi Obono-Obla

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Prosecution, Mr Okoi Obono-Obla, says the Federal Government will crush anyone who crosses the line in its resolve to rid Nigeria of corruption.

Obono-Obla, who appeared on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics, believes the return of President Muhammadu Buhari from his medical vacation will strengthen the government’s anti-corruption war.

“While the President was away, the war was still going on, the battle was still going on. So now that the Commander-in-Chief is back, maybe it’s going to rejig the war,” he said.

“And we are going to fight squarely, courageously and resolutely. So, anybody who crosses the line will be crushed.”

The presidential aide said the signing of an extradition treaty and other agreements by President Buhari with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Thursday last week was an evidence of the government’s zero tolerance for corruption.

He noted that the government has recorded 80 per cent success in its anti-corruption war.

“Let’s talk about the treaty we entered into with the UAE, I can be very certain that in the next few weeks, we are going to have tangible results. We are going to repatriate what has been taken out of Nigeria to UAE and I have told you, it runs into hundreds of millions of dollars.

“Is that not an achievement? This country has never entered into an agreement with any other country to return what has been taken out of this country,” he said.

On funding government projects with recovered looted funds, Obono-Obla said the government cannot take such step without an approval of the National Assembly as enshrined in the Constitution.

He explained, “We cannot spend those monies because we are a government that respects the rule of law, we are a government that respects constitutionalism.

“By virtue of the Constitution (Section 162), we cannot spend any money without going to the National Assembly for permission, for authority. And we must put it in the Appropriation Bill or what we call ‘budget estimates’ and then take it to the National Assembly for approval,”

Justice Minister Shuns Senate Summon, Sends Representative

Senate President, Attorney General, Alleged ForgeryThe Attorney General of the Federation, Mr Abubakar Malami, on Thursday failed to appear before the Senate Committee on Judiciary and Human Rights on issues relating to allegations of forgery against the leadership of the Senate.

Though, the Minister of Justice sent a representative, the Committee refused to grant him audience.

The Special Adviser to the President on Prosecution, Mr Okoi Obono-Obla.

The Senate had summoned the Attorney General of the Federation to appear before its Committee on Judiciary and Human Rights to justify with concrete evidence his allegations of forgery against top officials of the Senate.

The motion came under matters of urgent national importance after a closed door session that lasted ‎for over two hours.

The lawmakers were appalled that the same rules of the Senate was used in the administration of its proceedings during the ministerial confirmation process which brought the Attorney-General to office as well as other top government officials.