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Forged WAEC used to study Law at UniJos tumbles Obono-Obla’s corruption fight

More details have emerged on why the Federal Government, in a letter dated August 14, 2019, suspended the Cross River State-born Chief Okoi Obono-Obla, Chairman, Special Investigation Panel for the Recovery of Public Property (SIPRPP).

Findings by Business Hilights showed that the actual build up to the Wednesday’s development stemmed from a House of Representatives ad hoc panel report, which had long alleged that the Barrister Obono-Obla gained admission into the University of Jos to study Law with a forged ordinary level (WAEC) certificate.

However, a source at the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation in an interview on Thursday, added that “There had been series of not so palatable reports on his activities and it is only right to ease him out so that proper investigations will be conducted to ascertain the realities in all the allegations both in his line of duty and University education in Jos”.

Recall that the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha had written the embattled chief graft investigator in a letter referenced 5788/s.75/s.18/T1/100, captioned; ‘Suspension From office,’ saying “I write to convey the directive of His Excellency, Muhammadu Buhari, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, for your suspension from office as Chairman, Special Investigation Panel for the Recovery of Public Property with immediate effect.

“This suspension shall subsist until the conclusion of the ICPC investigations into cases of alleged falsification of records and financial impropriety against your person.

“You are required by this instruction to strictly observe and comply with the provisions of PSR 030405 (a-c) of the Public Service Rules. For the avoidance of doubt, the Solicitor General of the Federation and Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Justice, shall be the authority to whom you shall report.

“Please accept my best regards,” Mustapha concluded.

Obla letter
Obono-Obla’s suspension letter from the SGF

Though the suspension letter did not go into details, there are facts that apart from issues of falsification of academic records, Obono-Obla has also been accused of abuse of office, intimidation, financial impropriety, among others.

But in his preliminary reaction, the embattled anti-graft chief linked his current misfortunes to those he tagged as corrupt lawmakers who are targeting him unfairly.

Besides, only yesterday, the Federal Ministry of Justice said the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) had submitted to President Muhammadu Buhari, an interim report of investigation on various allegations leveled against Obono-Obla.

A statement by the ministry’s Deputy Director, Public Affairs, James Odaudu, said some of allegations for which Obono-Obla was investigated included abuse of office, intimidation, unauthorised malicious investigation, financial impropriety, administrative misconduct and forgery/falsification of records.

Whereas Mr Obla awaits prosecution any time from now, the Solicitor-General of the Federation and Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Mr. Dayo Apata, had been directed to take charge of SPIP.