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Published On: Wed, Aug 1st, 2018

Property recovery: Panel chair seeks special protection

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By Lateef Ibrahim Abuja Abuja

The Chairman, Special Presidential Investigation Panel for theRecovery of Public Property, Mr Okoi Obono-Obla has called for a special protection for those who have been given the difficult task of fighting corruption in the country.
Obono-Obla, who has been accused of possessing a fake secondary school certificate by an ad-hoc committee of the House of Representatives, pointed out that the amount of hostility, persecution and witch-hunting of those saddled with fighting corruption in the country are being subjected to is unprecedented.
He spoke yesterday while fielding questions from journalists shortly after attending a workshop on “Promoting the Principle of Good Governance for the Advancement of Democracy”, organised by the Human and Environmental Development Agenda, HEDA in collaboration with the House of Representatives’ Committee on Financial Crimes in Abuja yesterday.
He reasoned that if those doing the work of fighting corruption in the country are not protected, nobody will want to take the job.
He specifically described the job as very risky.
In his words, “The people who are entrusted with fighting corruption, investigating corruption should also be protected. Otherwise, if they are allowed to be open to attacks from those who are angry that they are investigated, then nobody will want to take the work again.
“What am I saying is protection, it is simple English. People who are working in agencies that are fighting corruption, should be given so measure of protection. By government, by law.
“For instance, some EFCC investigators were attacked. I am also saying that I have been subjected to various degrees of attacks ffor what I am doing. I have not wronged anybody with the work I am doing.
“If you do not protect those who are doing the job, nobody will want to take the job. The work is risky. People take it personal, “ He said.
He further denied the claim in some sections that his committee is primarily focussing on the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu and few others.
It will be recalled that the Reps’ committee had accused Obono-Obla of forging the secondary school certificate which he used to gain admission to study Law in the University of Jos The ad hoc committee of the House has already submitted a report to the House where it recommended the arrest and prosecution of President Muhammadu Buhari’s Special Assistant on Prosecutions, Okoi Obono-Obla, for alleged certificate forgery.

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