By Kamal Tayo Oropo
The Chairman, Special Presidential Investigation Panel for the Recovery of Public Property, Chief Okoi Obono Obla on Friday dismissed calls by the House of Representatives for his dismissal as a ploy to derail investigations into corrupt practices.
Obla said recent attacks against him, over an alleged forged WAEC certificate since he commenced investigations into the activities and finances of some senators and members of the House of Representatives, were premeditated.
He said: “The call by the House of Representatives on Mr President to sack me for alleged certificate forgery is hogwash, balderdash and absolute rubbish!
“It is a hatchet job by agents and merchants of corruption and graft that have looted the country for the past 19 years to intimidate, hound and harass me.
“They are agents of looters that I have investigated. Is the house of representatives the police?” he queried in a statement in Lagos.
On the allegation of certificate forgery, Obla stated that he graduated from the university over 30 years ago.
“I left university 30 years ago. I graduated and went to law school. I left Law School in 1990 and was called to Bar in June 1991.
“The university screened me and awarded me a degree after deeming me worthy and after fulfilling the entry requirements.
“I wrote JAMB and scored excellent grades in all the subjects I wrote.
“It is a blackmail contrived by looters and their agents using the House of Representatives,” he said.
Meanwhile, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Obla has also filed a lawsuit against the House of Representatives over the matter.
He is challenging the power of the House of representatives to conduct such an investigation, adding that the report is a hatchet job with a premeditated mission, illegal and unconstitutional.
According to him, the call for his sack was a reaction to the information released by his panel forwarding the names of those under its investigation to the Nigeria Immigration Service.
He said the information required the Service to implement the travel ban stipulated by the Executive Order No 6 of 2018 for those under trial and investigation for corruption and abuse of office.
“I must be a genius to pass through University and Law School, practice law for more than two decades without a school certificate.
“The whole issue is really laughable but it is sad the extent to which corruption can fight back,” he said.