President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the suspension of the chairman of the Special Presidential Investigation Panel on the Recovery of Public Property, Okoi Obono-Obla, from office.
Mr Obono-Obla’s suspension letter, signed by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, directed the embattled official to step down and then proceed to answer questions from the the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission, those familiar with the matter told PREMIUM TIMES.
He is to face probe over allegations of certificate forgery and other corruption-related charges.
The letter by Mr Mustapha indicated that while Mr Obono-Obla remained on suspension, the Solicitor General of the Federation, Dayo Apata, would take charge of the panel on recovery of public property. Other members of the panel will however remain in office.
Our sources said the SGF office has since sent messages to Mr Obono-Obla to come pick up his suspension letter. His office was not opened Wednesday morning and afternoon when a PREMIUM TIMES reporter visited.
Trouble began for Mr Obono-Obla on Friday when a detachment of police officers from Force Headquarters descended on his Asokoro office and sealed off the building just after the official closed for the day. It was a preemptive move to block the official from removing evidence, one source familiar with the matter said.
But after PREMIUM TIMES exclusively reported the development, Mr Obono-Obla made media appearances and circulated press statements claiming he remained in office and that our report was instigated by elements opposed to what he called his tough stance against corruption.
Mr Obono-Obla’s anti-corruption job has often been steeped in controversies which overshadowed some of the successes recorded by his office.