President Muhammadu Buhari has been asked to order the arrest of the Chairman of the Special Presidential Panel on Recovery of Public property, Obono Obla.
Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, HURIWA, made the call following a spate of accusations of corruption and abuse of office levelled against the presidential aide.
Obono-Obla is reportedly in trouble, as police have already sealed his office. HURIWA said that Mr Obono-Obla is aware of the communication relieving him of his appointment but that he has been dodging it so he could use the holiday period to persuade people close to Mr Buhari to talk the government into rescinding its decision.
HURIWA, in a statement signed by its National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko and made available to DAILY POST on Monday, said “if the story trending in the news is anything to go by concerning the sack of Obono Obla then his dismissal has even come a bit later than generally expected.”
The Rights group, however, said the IGP ought to arrest him (Obono Obla) to give statement rather than treat his case as if he is bigger than the institution of law enforcement.
HURIWA stated that for a very long time, the President has been asked to sack Obla following his direct indictment in alleged certificate forgery of his West African School Certificate which he used to obtain his law degree but the appointing authority and the President who through his many speeches told Nigerians that he has zero tolerance for corruption did not act on the recommendation of the Federal House of Representatives in the eight session of the National Parliament.
“As a totally non political and pro-transparency platform we in the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria had petitioned the National Assembly to investigate the allegations of certificate scam against the Senior Special Aide of Mr President on Prosecution because we believe comprehensively that he who goes to equity must do so with clean hands and the National Assembly had to set up a special Ad-hoc committee to investigate the concerns we and many others raised that the man heading the panel on Recovery of Public property is not a fit and proper person to so hold such a sensitive position and the Federal parliament in their wisdom called the Chief Registrer of the West African School Certificate Examination Council and the Council appeared before the National Assembly under oath and tendered evidence in documentation directly indicting Mr Obono Obla of tempering with an aspect of his WAEC certificate with which he used to procure admission to University of Jos to read law and that what he parades as his WAEC is not valid.
“The House categorically asked Mr President to sack this his now indicted aide but the President decided to play politics and never acted even when he is abreast of the sensitive nature of allowing such a character already deemed unfit to continue to harass Nigerians in the position of an anti corruption fighter when he has a matter in which the issuing authority of the certificate he parades said he allegedly forged it.
“He (Obono Obla) rather refused to appear before the National Assembly and has continued to move from one place to another selling himself as Buhari’s anti graft crusader.
“We hereby call on Mr President not to give in to any lobbying from any quaters to let Obono Obla remain in this office that he is not in anyway suitable and in fact we learnt from impeccable sources that he has in the last three or four years operated a one man squad in a Presidential institution that should have experts and other public officials who ought to be allowed to discharge their statutory roles in line with the terms of their engagement by Mr President in his wisdom.
“Why should one person be let to run an institution as Chairman and chief accountant of the same Presidential Panel when this clearly violates the well known principles of checks and balances which nourishes transparency and accountability in government? We were told that as Chairman he has failed to even take instructions from the Federal Attorney General and the Vice President who is the most learned lawyer in government at the moment with a professorial title to his name.”
HURIWA said it had nevertheless praised the President for taking the bull by the horn no matter how belated just as the Rights group has challenged the Inspector General of Police Alhaji Mohammed Adamu to arrest Mr Obono Obla to face prosecution based on the public indictment of forgery of his school certificate as made at the eight session of the National Assembly, adding, “We give our absolute and unconditional support to Mr President because nobody should be treated as a sacred cow.”