The Chairman of the Special Presidential Investigation Panel for the Recovery of Public Property (SPIP), Okoi Obono-Obla has finally explained why operatives of the Nigerian Police sealed off his office.
Obono-Obla in a statement yesterday accused high profile persons being investigated by the panel of being behind attempts to shut down the panel. He said reports that the office of the panel was sealed by armed policemen were another plot to muzzle the panel from carrying out its anti-corruption crusade within the ambits of the law.
He, however, added that he was yet to receive “an official briefing on the issue since SPIP’s staff are observing the Eid-el Kabir holiday and away from our desks.”
“It is time we call the myths out for what they are, as the news making the rounds appears to us as a smear campaign from people with their protectionist agenda in favour of persons being investigated.
“SPIP officials have made and continue to contribute vitally to the fight against corruption, and daily, we are recovering monies owed the government in billions and calling upon high profile persons and seemingly ‘untouchable’ persons 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.
“The efforts of the SPIP in the fight against corruption in Nigeria deserve 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.
“We have examples of many high-profile cases where misappropriated public funds were traced to the personal bank 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,” he added.