Editorial
0

Update: Obla: “..I Remain the Chairman of Presidential Panel on recovery of public property–Okoi Obono-Obla

Update: Obla:”..I Remain the Chairman of Presidential Panel on recovery of public property–Okoi Obono-Obla New York[RR]Abuja–In a piece titled: “Mainagate latest: Hands off, shut up; Presidency tells Obla-Obono, but contrary to multiple reports stating Okoi has been fired from his chairman position said the public should ignore media reports. “..I Remain the Chairman of Presidential […]

Malami-Obono-Obla-Maina

Update: Obla:”..I Remain the Chairman of Presidential Panel on recovery of public property–Okoi Obono-Obla

New York[RR]Abuja–In a piece titled: “Mainagate latest: Hands off, shut up; Presidency tells Obla-Obono, but contrary to multiple reports stating Okoi has been fired from his chairman position said the public should ignore media reports. “..I Remain the Chairman of Presidential Panel on recovery of public property–Okoi Obono-Obla.

Obono-Obla fights back, says he remains chairman of Presidential panel Meanwhile, Okoi Obono-Obla, yesterday, fought back, claiming that he had not been removed from his post and asked the public to disregard his purported sack.

In a statement by his Assistant Director of Press, Lucieann Laha, Obla dismissed as untrue, the claim that he had been removed as the chairman of the Presidential Special Panel on Recovery of Public Property. The statement said: “The attention of the Special Presidential Investigation Panel for the Recovery of Public Property has been drawn to a purported news in the media that the Chairman of the Panel, Chief Okoi Obono-Obla has been removed. “While there is a letter from the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, based on a purported letter from the Office of the Vice President to the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister for Justice drawing attention to certain procedural issues, and which an appropriate response is being prepared, there is no iota of truth in the purported removal of the Chairman of the Panel. “For the avoidance of doubt, there is no such directive from the Presidency to the Chairman of the Special Presidential Investigation Panel for the Recovery of Public Property relieving him of his office and the information purportedly removing the Chairman should be disregarded.”

Read full text:

Obono-Obla fights back, says he remains chairman of Presidential panel Meanwhile, Okoi Obono-Obla, yesterday, fought back, claiming that he had not been removed from his post and asked the public to disregard his purported sack. In a statement by his Assistant Director of Press, Lucieann Laha, Obla dismissed as untrue, the claim that he had been removed as the chairman of the Presidential Special Panel on Recovery of Public Property. The statement said: “The attention of the Special Presidential Investigation Panel for the Recovery of Public Property has been drawn to a purported news in the media that the Chairman of the Panel, Chief Okoi Obono-Obla has been removed. “While there is a letter from the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, based on a purported letter from the Office of the Vice President to the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister for Justice drawing attention to certain procedural issues, and which an appropriate response is being prepared, there is no iota of truth in the purported removal of the Chairman of the Panel. “For the avoidance of doubt, there is no such directive from the Presidency to the Chairman of the Special Presidential Investigation Panel for the Recovery of Public Property relieving him of his office and the information purportedly removing the Chairman should be disregarded.”

The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, SAN, in a statement, yesterday, said recent actions of Obono-Obla who is equally an aide to President Muhammadu Buhari on Prosecution, ran contrary to the enabling act that established the panel.

Consequently, the AGF directed Obono-Obla to “henceforth desist from carrying out any operation in his capacity as head of the panel.” Obono-Obla was notified of the order to hands off the panel via a letter dated November 1, 2017, with file number HAGF/SH/2017/VOL/1/60, which was signed by the AGF.

In the letter, Malami maintained that activities of the panel contravened established administrative procedures and protocols in the nation’s civil service structure. He warned Obono-Obla to strictly comply with FG’s directive that he should hands-off from further presiding over any activity in the name of the panel. Obono-Obla was barred from further granting press interviews without first securing permission to speak on any official matter.

“Obla is also instructed to henceforth seek clearance from the AGF before granting any media interview or making press releases on official matters, while he is directed to promptly provide a detailed up-to-date report on the activities of the panel to the Minister for onward transmission to the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo,’’ the AGF said.

Malami’s letter, follow-up to V-P’s

Malami’s letter, titled ‘’RE: Directive In Respect of Chief Okoi Obono-Obla, Chairman of the Special Investigation Panel on the recovery of public property’, was said to be a follow-up to a previous letter from the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, SAN.

The letter read: “I have received a letter Ref. SH/OVP/DCOS/FMJ/0424 dated 20thOctober, 2017 in respect of the above subject from the Office of the Vice President.

“In the said letter, the Vice President expressed his concerns on the activities of the Special Investigation Panel on the Recovery of Public Property which runs contrary to the enabling Act establishing it. He also noted that the activities of the Panel run foul or contrary to established administrative procedures and protocols in the Federal Civil Service structure.

“In view of the foregoing, coupled with the directives contained in the letter under reference, you are hereby directed to refrain from any further action or taking any step in your capacity as the Chairman of the Special Investigation Panel on the Recovery of Public Property with immediate effect until directed otherwise by His Excellency, the Vice President.

“While you are to await further instructions in respect of the Panel’s mandate, you are hereby directed to promptly provide a detailed up-to-date report on the activities of the Panel to the undersigned for onward transmission to the Vice President.

“Furthermore, you are required to henceforth seek clearance from the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice before granting any media interview or making press releases on official matters.

“While appealing for immediate and strict compliance with the contents of this letter, please, accept the assurances of my warm regards and best wishes.” Meanwhile, a Presidency source, who is familiar with the matter, told Vanguard that Buhari was unhappy with the utterances of Obono-Obla over the recall and sacking of Maina.

According to the source, who spoke in confidence, the strident attempts by the SSA to defend the secret recall of Maina after he had been sacked the second time by Buhari was seen as an affront on the action of the President and an action unbecoming of an aide. It was learned that the Vice President, whose office was instrumental to bringing Obono-Obla into the special presidential panel, also felt uncomfortable with his comments and decided to move against him.

“When the President’s attention was drawn to the pronouncements of Obono-Obla, the Vice President, who was instrumental to his appointment, was asked to take appropriate steps to deal with the situation,” a competent source said last night. Asked if Obono-Obla would still retain his post as the Senior Special Assistant on Prosecution to the President, the source said it was unclear whether the aide had been suspended from both posts. Obono-Obla fights back, says he remains chairman of Presidential panel Meanwhile, Okoi Obono-Obla, yesterday, fought back, claiming that he had not been removed from his post and asked the public to disregard his purported sack. In a statement by his Assistant Director of Press, Lucieann Laha, Obla dismissed as untrue, the claim that he had been removed as the chairman of the Presidential Special Panel on Recovery of Public Property. The statement said:

“The attention of the Special Presidential Investigation Panel for the Recovery of Public Property has been drawn to a purported news in the media that the Chairman of the Panel, Chief Okoi Obono-Obla has been removed. “While there is a letter from the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, based on a purported letter from the Office of the Vice President to the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister for Justice drawing attention to certain procedural issues, and which an appropriate response is being prepared, there is no iota of truth in the purported removal of the Chairman of the Panel.

“For the avoidance of doubt, there is no such directive from the Presidency to the Chairman of the Special Presidential Investigation Panel for the Recovery of Public Property relieving him of his office and the information purportedly removing the Chairman should be disregarded.”

What Obono- Obla said about Maina’s recall, sack It will be recalled that after the sacking of Maina two weeks ago, Obono-Obla had repeatedly asked whether there was any criminal court pronouncement against Maina to prevent him from being brought back to his former post. In a recent interview, Obono-Obla was asked whether it was right for Maina to be reinstated before the President fired him two weeks ago. His response: “I asked them, has he (Maina) been convicted by a court of competent jurisdiction?

‘’I am talking as a lawyer and I don’t want to be emotional and sentimental because Nigerians are very emotional and sentimental. As a lawyer, I was trained not to be emotional and not to be sentimental when I am discussing law or involved in a legal argument. If Maina had been convicted, I want to see the certified true copy of the judgment of the court that sentenced him. Reminded that there was moral burden on Maina not to return to work as he did, Obla had said: “Law and morality are two different things that don’t mix. There is a school of jurisprudence that says you cannot mix law with economics, you cannot mix law with morals, or sociology, history, culture or politics.

‘’So, we are looking at a legal point of view. What does the law say about somebody who has not been convicted by a court of competent jurisdiction? Looking at the moral aspect of it, then it is condemnable. But an allegation has been made against somebody, but that allegation has not been ventilated in a court of law.” On the weighty allegations of fraud against Maina, he said: “Yes, to a lay person, the allegations are immoral, but the man had not been convicted. I was saying (in the Channel’s interview) that nobody should blame Mr. President or bring him into this issue.

‘’The discipline of civil servants is not the prerogative of Mr. President. There is a body established by law, known as the Federal Civil Service Commission; it is one of the executive bodies established by the law. ‘’Members of that commission are appointed by the President, subject to the confirmation by the Senate. The FCSC is supposed to be a body detached from political interference.

‘’If a civil servant has been charged to court, the normal procedure is that the Permanent Secretary in the ministry he is working with would be notified and then a certified true copy of the charge against him would be brought to the Permanent Secretary in the ministry.

‘’The civil servant would now be placed on suspension and sometimes, such a worker is placed on half pay. If the court now finds him guilty, it is not enough. Then the ministry has to report to the FCSC.

‘’This is because the FCSC is responsible for the recruitment, promotion and discipline of senior civil servants from Level 8 to Level 17. Then they would now initiate disciplinary measures to be meted out on the civil servant. When they find the civil servant guilty or liable, then they inform the President. Reminded that Maina had been declared wanted by the EFCC, Obla declared:

“The EFCC is not a court of law, the Supreme Court has said that in several cases. The case against Rotimi Amaechi (Minister of Transportation) and the Independent National Electoral Commission is an example.

‘’Amaechi won the primary election in Rivers State. But the Peoples Democratic Party then said he was under investigation by the EFCC and based on that, he should not stand for election. And they gave the governorship ticket to (Celestine) Omehia. ‘’Then Amaechi went to court and the matter ended at the Supreme Court. Amaechi won and was declared governor. The Supreme Court said an indictment must be only by a court of law and not by somebody or an investigative body like the EFCC, the police or Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC.

‘’So, if somebody is being declared wanted by the EFCC, it does not amount to the person being adjudged a criminal. After investigation, the matter must go before the court. ‘’I understand he (Maina) went to court and the court said his dismissal was wrong. That means he was not given fair hearing. Maybe it was based on that that the FCSC asked for his reinstatement.

‘’I am still maintaining my stand, despite what has happened (Maina’s sacking). That is why the President has ordered an investigation. I think we should not pre-empt the findings of the investigation the President has ordered.’’

Maina’s Saga: Malami, Dambazau face Senate Committee this week However, barring any last minute change, the Attorney- General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, and his counterpart in Interior Ministry, Lt. General Abdulrahman Dambazau, retd, will appear before the Senate Ad-hoc Committee on Establishment and Public Services this week.

The appearance is sequel to allegations against them by the Senate for being the mastermind of the clandestine return to the country and subsequent reinstatement of former chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Pension Reforms, Abdullahi Abdulrasheed Maina, to the Interior Ministry as a director. The ministers are expected to appear before the Ad- hoc Committee, led by Senator Emmanuel Paulker, PDP, Bayelsa Central. Other members of the Ad- hoc Committee are the Chairmen and Vice Chairmen of Senate Committees on Anti-Corruption and Financial Crimes; Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters; Interior and Vice Chairman of Senate Committee on Establishment and Public Services. Speaking with Vanguard in Abuja, last Wednesday, Senator Paulker had said the two ministers will appear before the committee this week to formally defend themselves. He said:

“We are going to meet at the committee level this week( last week) then next week (this week) the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice would then appear before us.”

The Senate had penultimate week, put in place an Ad-hoc Committees to determine the circumstances that led to the return of Maina to the country and his compensation with such a position as a director in the Federal Civil Service, in spite of the fact that he had been under watch. Before setting up the committee, Senate President, Bukola Saraki, had said:

“We are all very disturbed and I would like the committee to work hard on this matter that bothers on our security, corruption and how we manage the public service.” The senators had indicted Malami and Dambazau for being responsible for the Maina saga during plenary on October 24. President Buhari should act with dispatch on Mainagate — Falana Human rights lawyer Femi Falana reacted this way: “Completely dissatisfied with the sudden removal of Mr. Abdulrasheed Maina from the public service of the Federal Government, his family has accused the Buhari administration of official hypocrisy and betrayal. At a press conference held in Kaduna a fortnight ago, the spokesman for the family, Mr. Aliyu Maina, pointed out that ‘Abdulrasheed was in fact invited by this administration to come and clean up the mess and generate more revenue to the government by blocking leakages. He has been working with the DSS for quite some time and he was given necessary security. So, one wonders why all the agencies and various individuals responsible for his return are now denying.’

“In view of the revelation of the family which has not been denied, it is crystal clear that the highly placed officials of the Federal Government who brought Mr. Abdulrasheed Maina back to the country, gave him a clean bill of health, provided him with “necessary security”, reinstated him, promoted him and paid his arrears of salaries and allowances totalling N22 million deliberately set out to subvert the anti corruption policy of the Buhari administration. It is the height of insensitivity to pay arrears of salaries to a fugitive at a time when hundreds of thousands of workers and pensioners are owed arrears of their legitimate emoluments.

“Through such demonstration of official impunity the officials involved have exposed the country to ridicule before the comity of nations. Having found Maina and exonerated him why was Interpol not informed that he was no longer wanted to stand trial for his role in the unprecedented pension fraud? Since Mr. Maina’s “necessary security” provided by the State Security Service has not been withdrawn why is the Federal Government requesting the Interpol to declare him wanted again? Will Interpol believe that a man who was provided with “necessary security” cannot be found by the Federal Government? Why is the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission asking Nigerians to assist in searching for the fugitive?

“Although the federal government has promised not to sweep the Mainagate under the carpet, the handling of the monumental scandal so far eroded the credibility of the anti corruption crusade of the Buhari administration.

Therefore, the sanctions which the Federal Government will mete out to all the officials who conspired to expose the administration and the nation to such avoidable shame will make or mar the fight against corruption and impunity which is the cornerstone of the domestic and foreign policy thrust of the administration.

“Time is certainly not on the side of President Buhari!”

Credit: Vanguard

Read more at: https://www.vanguardngr.com/2017/11/mainagate-latest-hands-off-shut-presidency-tells-obla-obono/

Republic Reporters: Standing Between Civilization And Anarchy...

Republic Reporters New York

There are 0 comments

Leave a comment

Want to express your opinion?
Leave a reply!


Warning: include(functions/custom-css.php): failed to open stream: No such file or directory in /home/dev1985/republicreporters.com/republicreporters.com/wp-content/themes/meganews-child/footer.php on line 3

Warning: include(): Failed opening 'functions/custom-css.php' for inclusion (include_path='.:/usr/local/lib/php:/usr/local/php5/lib/pear') in /home/dev1985/republicreporters.com/republicreporters.com/wp-content/themes/meganews-child/footer.php on line 3