Chairman of the Special Investigation Panel on the Recovery of Public Property, Chief Okoi Obono-Obla, has been suspended by the Federal Government from further carrying out any official operation.
In a statement on Sunday by the Special Adviser to the Attorney-General of the Federation on Media and Publicity, Salihu Isah, said until further notice from the Vice-President, Yemi Osinbajo, Obono-Obla will not function in his official capacity.
The statement said that government considered Obono-Obla’s actions of late as running contrary to the enabling Act establishing panel.
The statement also stated that the panel Chairman, who is also the Special Assistant to the President on Prosecution, had also been directed by the AGF and Minister of Justice Abubakar Malami (SAN), to seek and obtain the Minister’s clearance before granting any further press interview or issuing any official statement.
Obono-Obla who, in his capacity as a Presidential Assistant, works directly under the AGF, was said to have been informed of his suspension and other developments in a letter dated November 1, 2017, personally signed by Malami.
The AGF’s letter with reference number HAGF/SH/2017/VOL/1/60, and 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 have emanated from an earlier one sent to him by the Vice-President expressing concerns about the activities of the panel.
The AGF’s letter read: “I have received a letter Ref. SH/OVP/DCOS/FMJ/0424 dated October 20, 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.”