Buhari’s anti-corruption fight is political— Obono-Obla’s counsel

The administration of President Muhammadu Buhari has been described as one that sacrifices its anti-corruption crusaders for political expediency.

Reacting to a widely circulated press statement by the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC), wherein it declared wanted Chief Okoi Obono-Obla, the erstwhile Chairman of the Special Presidential Panel for the Recovery of Public property, for failing to honour a purported invitation extended to him, pursuant to an on-going investigation without recourse to an earlier case by Obla, Counsel to Obla, Mr. F. Baba Isa said this was wrong.

In a press statement circulated online at weekend in Calabar, Isa said: “To arrogantly ignore the case in court and carry on as they are doing cuts a riotous image of President Buhari’s administration. It paints the administration as one without adherence to the rule of law, one that sacrifices its anti-corruption crusaders for political expediency. It is most unfortunate…

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“Though it is obvious that the whole intent of ICPC’s press statement declaring our client wanted is an unfortunate episode in a well-oiled media trial, orchestrated to ridicule and embarrass a man who spent the last two years of his life fighting corruption to its knees, let us put some record straight.

“Chief Okoi Obono Obla was never ever invited by ICPC for an interview or questioning. Rather, we read on social media and blogs that a purported invitation letter was left at the law office of Obono, Obono & Associates, a law firm which our client resigned from since 2015 to accept President Muhammadu Buhari’s appointment, first to serve as Special Assistant on Prosecution and then as Chairman of the Special Presidential Panel for the Recovery of Public Property.

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“The ICPC knew this; for it should know that he was not combining private legal practice and public service…”

“Secondly, a case has been filed by our client against ICPC, challenging the purported investigation on the grounds that the agency is already prejudiced against him…”

Obla’s counsel stated that ICPC has launched a full-blown media action against him and “it is crystal clear that the commission has already declared him guilty, even before it started investigation. No sane man will trust an investigative agency to be fair, just and decent, when it is clear from its conduct and posturing that it has already taken sides…

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