Obono-Obla: I’ve Been Treated With Utmost Ignominy Despite Putting In My Best

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Obono-Obla: I’ve Been Treated With Utmost Ignominy Despite Putting In My Best

Obono-Obla: I’ve Been Treated With Utmost Ignominy Despite Putting In My Best
October 28
22:02 2019

Suspended Chairman of the now scrapped Special Presidential Panel for the Recovery of Public Property (SPIP) Okoi Obono-Obla has expressed disappointment the government he served with his utmost best has chosen to betray him.

Obono-Obla who, in a Facebook post on Saturday, described his current ordeal as a calculated plot by some powerful forces close to the government to break him and portray him in bad light before Nigerians, said he felt betrayed that the same government that assigned him dangerous duties has failed to protect him.

He said since he was suspended, his security details have been withdrawn, thereby exposing him and members of his  family to insecurity and possible annihilation by those, on whose toes he had stepped while working to bring the corrupt, who are close to power, to book.

Obono-Obla said: “I want to open up to Nigerians the forces that masterminded what is happening to me despite my efforts to execute a very tough and difficult assignment given to me, which has exposed me to victimisation.

“The government has left me unprotected and I seriously fear for my life and that members of my family.

“Even before my suspension was announced, my security was immediately withdrawn, thereby exposing me to possible attack by those I had stepped on their toes.

“Suspension is not dismissal. So, it was strange and curious that the government will withdraw my security knowing that I did very dangerous job, which require government to throw a security ring around me.

“My former office had been sealed since 10ths August 2019 which effectively prevents me from having access to materials to use to, even prepare my defence.

“I have been treated with utmost ignominy despite the massive work I did in just two years in the Panel which had no structure when it took off in August 2017.

“Everything I have is what I had before I came into government in 2016. Everything I have was acquired between 2003 and 2012 when I was in private legal practice.

“So, it is laughable and extremely ridiculous for ICPC (the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission) to claim that I am being investigated for living beyond my means.

“I live in a rented three bed room apartment in Abuja. Two weeks ago, the rent became due and I was on the verge of being ejected.

“I had to appeal to good prominent Nigerian, who used to be a member of the House of Representatives, from Delta State to pay my rent, which he graciously did. I have only a rickety vehicle which I bought in 2014.

“The panel (SPIP) was never funded by the government. It was given a take-off grant, which was domiciled in the office of the Secretary to Government of the Federation.  I had no access to the money. I only receive allowance at the end of the month.

“So, ICPC’s claim that I am being investigated for financial improprieties is also laughable.

“I didn’t award any contract, because there was none to be awarded, as the panel never had any money to even carry out operations.

“All the success the panel recorded was through my passion, drive and dogged approach, and the support I had from operatives that worked with me. The office we had was given to us by the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

“For almost one year, we couldn’t move because we had no furniture. My personal efforts led the NDIC (Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation) to donate N20 million that was used to purchase furniture and other office equipment.

“I was victimised by powerful institutions, including the 8th National Assembly, for daring to investigate some powerful senators.

“A committee was set up by the House of Representatives to investigate the legality of the panel, but rather than do that, the committee commenced an investigation of my educational qualifications, leading to the distortions that I forged my school certificate.

“A kangaroo report was issued despite the fact that I had gone to court to challenge the legality of the committee investigating me personally outside its terms of reference.

“Despite the court action, the committee still went to conduct a one-sided investigation and issued a report, which the ICPC is now using against me.

“Despite all this, the government did not protect me, despite the fact that my job is difficult, challenging and dangerous, exposing me to attacks and hatred from those the panel was investigating. What you are seeing is a gang-up against me by these powerful forces,” Obono-Obla said.

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