The Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission has arraigned a former chairman of the disbanded Special Presidential Investigation Panel for Public Property’s Recovery, Mr Okoi Obono-Obla, on allegation of offences bordering on fraud.
Obono-Obla was arraigned before Justice Olukayode Adeniyi, of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court, Apo, Abuja, for allegedly forging an Ordinary Level certificate.
According to a release from the ICPC on Saturday, he was charged alongside his Special Adviser on Protocol, Aliyu Ibrahim, and the Managing Director of ABR Global Petroleum Resources Limited, Daniel Omughele, on an allegation of diverting N19.9 million, meant for the furnishing of SPIP’s office.
ICPC in a 10-count charge accused the former SPIP boss of knowingly presenting a fake result with a credit pass in English Literature to the University of Jos, with which he secured admission to read Law, contrary to Section 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act,2000 and punishable under the same section.
The ICPC Spokesperson, Mrs Azuka Ogugua, said, “The commission alleged that while Obono-Obla did not sit for the Ordinary Level General Certificate Examination (GCE) in English Literature in 1982, he presented a result of the same GCE to the University of Jos, in 1985, containing Credit 6 from Mary Knoll College, Ogoja.
“An offence which is contrary to Section 363 and punishable under Section 364 of the Penal Code Act 532, Vol. 4 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.
“The charge further revealed that Obono-Obla, Aliyu Ibrahim and Daniel Omughele, in July 2018, diverted N18.2 million out of N19.9 million released to SPIP for office furniture by the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Cooperation.
“Ibrahim was accused of receiving the money from six contractors who had won bids for the office furnishing contrary to Section 26 (c)(i) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000 and punishable under Section 68 of the same Act.”
The commission noted that the accused pleaded not guilty when the charge was read. The counsel, Paul Irokore (SAN), A. C. Ozokwo and Emmanuel Okere for Obono-Obla, respectively prayed the court to grant them bail in liberal terms.
The Counsel to ICPC, Samuel Ipinlaye, who did not oppose the bail, however, prayed the court to grant them bail on such conditions to ensure their attendance in court for trial.
The trial Judge, Adeniyi, while ruling on the bail applications granted them bail in the sum of N10 million each and a surety in like sum.
It will be recalled that the ICPC arrested Mr Obono-Obla in March 2020 after being declared wanted by the commission in October 2019.
The case was adjourned to March 17, 18 and 19 for trial commencement.