By Emma Ujah, Abuja Bureau Chief
ABUJA—The Chairman of the Special Presidential Investigation Panel for the Recovery of Public Properties, SPIP, Mr. Okon Obono-Obla, yesterday said the seal-off of its offices is a smear campaign by those protecting corrupt individuals under investigations.
In a statement yesterday, he claimed that those who sealed-off SPIP their offices had protectionist agenda, as according to him, his team had been consistent in its mandate within the law.
According to the statement “It is time we call the myths out for what they are, as the news making the rounds appears to us a smear campaign from people with their protectionist agenda in favour of persons being investigated. The pictures you are being painted of SPIP bears no resemblance to the reality on the ground. The SPIP from inception has worked within the dictates of its mandate and takes tremendous pride in the work it does towards recovering misappropriated government funds.
“SPIP officials have made and continue to vitally make contributions to the fight against corruption and daily we are recovering monies owed the government in billions and calling upon persons considered “untouchable” who have illegally enriched themselves from government coffers at the expense of members of the public to come forward and answer to their crimes and make refunds of misappropriated government monies.
“The efforts of the SPIP in the fight against corruption deserves to be recognised, instead, we are being dismissed with misleading scare stories and arm-twisting of the panel officials by ‘highly-placed Nigerians’ wishing to protect some persons under our investigation and thereby distracting the panel from carrying out its lawful mandate.
“We have examples of high profile cases where misappropriated public funds have been traced to personal accounts of public servants and rather than explain the source of the funds, they resort to false petitions and unfairly attacking the officials of the panel.”