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Group decries FG over travel ban list, knocks panel chair Obono-Obla

Chairman of Special Presidential Committee on Recovery of Public Funds, Okoi Obono-Obla

The Initiative for Integrity and Good Leadership (IIGL) has said Chairman of Special Presidential Committee on Recovery of Public Funds, Okoi Obono-Obla, only played to the gallery by submitting names of some Nigerians for travel ban over alleged corruption.

In a statement issued in Abuja yesterday, its National Coordinator, Muhammad Aliyu, said Obono-Obla was only carrying out an assignment, which his panel has no legal powers to complete.

The group said Obono-Obla was on a vendetta mission, especially by including the Tumsah brothers on the list.

Obono-Obla has disclosed on Monday at a media briefing that the panel submitted the names of 39 alleged treasury looters to the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) in order to restrict them from traveling out of the country.

But Aliyu argued that Obono-Obla’s action was an affront on a court ruling that his panel lacked powers to prosecute those being investigated, noting that releasing the names of politically exposed persons amounted to media trial for which he has gone to the Appeal Court.

He said rather than allow the court to rule on the matter, Obono-Obla preempted the judgment by boasting that he knows he would get favourable ruling because the judiciary was fighting back.

“What this implies is that if the court does not rule in his favour, he would ascribe it to corruption fighting back,” he said.

Obono-Obla had, however, maintained that the action was in accordance with the provisions of Executive Order No 6, 2018.

According to him, the panel is investigating Tijani Tumsah (Vice Chairman, Presidential Initiative on Northeast) and Ibrahim Tumsah (Director, Finance and Accounts, Ministry of Power, Works and Housing), for alleged abuse of office, corruption and possession of wealth beyond their legitimate earnings.

“It has recovered 86 different brand new luxury cars from the Tumsah brothers, 23 of which are bulletproof vehicles without the requisite permits.

“Also recovered from them are several choice property located in highbrow areas of Abuja and a quarry in Kuje, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

“The panel has since obtained an interim order of forfeiture from an Abuja High Court in respect of these property,” Obono-Obla said.

But Aliyu insisted that the ruling of Abuja Court of Appeal that voided the power of his panel, still subsists.

He stressed that the court further held that the panel lacked the constitutional powers to seize the property of suspected offenders.

“We hope that Obono-Obla remembers that the court consequently set aside the forfeiture order of Tumsah brothers’ property granted the panel by a Federal High Court in Abuja? He asked.

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