By Ogar Monday
The Federal Government has directed the Chairman of the Special Investigation Panel on the Recovery of Public Property, Okoi Obono-Obla to stop carrying out any operation as head of the panel due to his recent actions that have run contrary to the enabling act establishing it.
This was contained in a letter addressed to Obono-Obla dated November 1st, 2017 with file number HAGF/SH/2017/VOL/1/60 and signed by the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Mr. Abubakar Malami which noted that the activities of the panel have contravened established administrative procedures and protocols in the country’s civil service structure, as well as insisting his immediate and strict compliance with the directives.
The letter titled, “RE: DIRECTIVE IN RESPECT OF CHIEF OKOI OBONO-OBLA, CHAIRMAN OF THE SPECIAL INVESTIGATION PANEL ON THE RECOVERY OF PUBLIC PROPERTY” emanates from an earlier one sent to Mr. Malami by the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo.
And, it instructed Mr. Obono-Obla to seek clearance from the AGF before granting any media interview or making press releases on official matters. It also directed him to provide a detailed up-to-date report on the activities of the panel to the AGF for onward transmission to the Vice President.
The letter read that: “I have received a letter Ref. SH/OVP/DCOS/FMJ/0424 dated 20th October, 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 Honourable 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”, the letter concluded.
Obono-Obla who is the Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Prosecution was appointed head of the panel in August by the then Acting President Yemi Osinbajo.