July 15, 2024

WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 30: (AFP OUT) Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari speaks during a meeting with US President Donald Trump in the Oval Office of the White House on April 30, 2018 in Washington, DC. The two leaders are scheduled to discuss a range of bilateral issues and hold a joint press conference later in the day. (Photo by Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images)

The former Chairman of the Special Presidential Investigation Panel for the Recovery of Public Property (SPIP), Okoi Obono-Obla, has revealed that the administration of former President Muhammadu Buhari shielded a former governor from prosecution over $200 million in offshore assets. Obono-Obla made this disclosure during an interview on the Mic On Podcast, where he expressed his frustration over the government’s lack of decisive action against high-profile corruption cases.

Obono-Obla highlighted several instances of significant corruption he encountered during his tenure. He recounted a specific case where an individual was found in possession of 80 brand new armored S-Class Mercedes Benz cars, along with houses, farms, motorcycles, and more, all located in Jabi. He mentioned the panel’s intervention to check whether customs duties were paid on these vehicles, discovering that they had not been.

Addressing the issue of tax evasion, Obono-Obla revealed that he had written to the Federal Inland Revenue Service regarding these assets and received confirmation that no taxes were paid. The panel had proactively secured a court order to take custody of these assets pending further legal proceedings.

Obono-Obla also disclosed efforts to investigate offshore assets linked to a former senator and governor. “Through the Panama Papers, we discovered offshore properties worth over £200 million belonging to a prominent former governor and senator,” he stated.

Despite submitting detailed reports to President Buhari and the Attorney General, Abubakar Malami, SAN, Obono-Obla was sacked on August 15, 2019. His dismissal letter indicated that he would face “criminal prosecution on matters related to his alleged financial dealings, as uncovered by the ICPC upon investigation.” Additionally, the letter suggested that the government might request the University of Jos to withdraw his law degree and the Nigerian Law School to debar him from practice.

The revelations by Obono-Obla shed light on the challenges and complexities involved in tackling corruption within Nigeria’s political system.

7 thoughts on “Buhari Government Shielded Ex-Governor with Over $200M in Offshore Assets from Prosecution, Says Obono-Obla

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