Buhari Govt Prevented Prosecution Of Ex-Governor Over $200 Offshore Assets — Obono-Obla

Former Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari

The former Chairman of the Special Presidential Investigation Panel for the Recovery of Public Property (SPIP), Okoi Obono-Obla revealed that the former President Muhammadu Buhari’s government shielded a former governor from prosecution over $200 million in offshore assets.

Obono-Obla made this revelation in an interview on Mic On Podcast.

He referenced several cases of high-profile corruption, expressing frustration over the lack of decisive action on the part of the government.

Noting the magnitude of corruption he encountered, Obono-Obla highlighted a specific case involving the recovery of extravagant assets.

He said, “For instance, there was this case where somebody had 80 brand new armored S-Class Mercedes Benz cars, along with houses, farms, motorcycles, and more, all discovered in a single location in Jabi.

 “We intervened, questioned whether customs duties were paid on these vehicles. It turned out, they hadn’t,” he added.

Speaking on tax evasion, Obono-Obla said, “I wrote to the Federal Inland Revenue Service about these assets, questioning if taxes were paid. They confirmed no records of tax payments.”

He noted the panel’s proactive stance in securing a court order to take custody of the assets pending further legal proceedings.

The former chairman revealed efforts to investigate offshore assets linked to a former senator and governor. He said, “Through the Panama Papers, we discovered offshore properties worth over £200 million belonging to a prominent former governor and senator.”

Recall that the former chairman submitted detailed reports to President Buhari and the Attorney General (Abubakar Malami, SAN) after the investigation.

But, Obono-Obla was reportedly sacked on August 15, 2019 during the President Buhari administration.

His sack letter said Obono-Obla would face “criminal prosecution on matters related to his alleged financial dealings, as uncovered by the ICPC upon investigation.”

“The government may ask the University of Jos to withdraw his law degree and the Nigerian Law School to debar him from practice,” the letter added.

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