Activities of the Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Anti-corruption and chairman of Presidential Investigation Panel on Recovery of Public Property, Obono Obla, undermines the war against graft, a coalition of civil society has warned.
The Movement for the Protection of Peoples Rights, an affiliate of the Coalition of Pro-democracy and Human Rights Group, in a statement expressed concern over an alleged anti-democratic practices of the presidential adviser.
According to the statement, Obla’s mode of operation undermines the operational existence of both the Code of Conduct Bureau which is a creation of the constitution, EFCC and ICPC created by an act of the National Assembly.
The statement which was jointly signed by Johnson Victory for Transparency Movement, Yahaya Makam, for the Protection of Peoples Rights and Wale Adegoke, Movement for Free Speech, noted that the presidential aide failed to differentiate between the powers of Presidential Adviser on Prosecution in the Office of the Attorney General, Investigation Panel on Recovery of Public Property as he interfered in the operations of other statutory agencies.
“His activities are clearly at variance with anti- corruption policy direction of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption. Before and after his initial appointment as Special Adviser on Prosecutorial Matters, Obla had proven himself as someone with unquenchable appetite for grandstanding, obstinacy, belligerence, controversy, garrulousity, arrogance and bellicosity,” the statement reads in part.
The group observed that the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, (SAN), had stated that Obla’s actions ran contrary to the enabling act that established the panel.
“Our concern is that the same Obla was directed by the Honourable Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami SAN, to “hence forth desist from carrying out any operation in his capacity as head of the said panel. The AGF clearly stated that the actions of Obla ran contrary to the enabling act that established the panel.”
The statement reads further ; “The most disturbing development is that not only does Obla still parades himself and act as the Chairman of the panel, he has equally embarked on desperate measures to reinvent himself after he got his fingers burnt on the reinstatement of Maina and insults and venoms he dished out against judges.
“We have it on impeccable authority that the perception about him is that he tried to apply the strategy of naked interference with processes in the prosecution of cases being investigated by the statutory anti-corruption agencies but was resisted by them and the Presidential Advisory Committee led by Prof Itse Sagay in the struggle to assert independence and professionalism in handing of all the cases either being investigated or prosecuted.
“His unwarranted penchant for subterranean schemes is becoming over kill to the extent that cases already diligently investigated and concluded due to inability to establish prima facie are now selectively being resurrected in order to establish a guilty verdict at all cost on some of the accused persons.
“We have found it germane to draw public attention to the emerging trends under the agenda of political opponents using the Obla’s panel to settle scores with an eye on the2019 elections.
“If not an agenda of witch hunting of political undertone and sinister motive, why the double standard of resurrecting some cases and at the same time burying others? .
It is shameful, scandalous, unethical and abuse of power for Obla to allow himself to be perceived as the one covering up one grievous misdeed by protecting some people, while on the other hand intimidating anti-corruption agencies in the discharge of their duties by the same Obla that insulted Judges, used unprintable language and derogatory words against them in relation to their official conduct.”
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