Former Chairman of the Special Investigation Panel for the Recovery of Public Property (SPIP), Okoi Obono-Obla has accused the office of Vice-President, Yemi Osinbajo of persecuting him because of his for loyalty to President Muhammadu Buhari.

In a letter to the President Obono-Obla said some principal members of the office of the Vice President asked him to compromise an investigation but turned down their request.

The ex-SPIP chairman said he has since incurred the wrath of the office of the vice-president because he “refused to do their dictates and bidding”.

He added that he is now being persecuted over his loyalty to the president.

The letter reads, “My travails started with my appointment as Chairman of the Special Presidential Investigation Panel for the Recovery of Public Property in July 2017!”

“The Panel was constituted when the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo was Acting President. He accordingly appointed one of his Special Assistants, Adeniran Gbolahan, as Secretary. Later I had a bitter disagreement concerning whether or not the Panel should wait for mandates from the Vice President before it can commence any investigation. 

“The Secretary enjoyed the support of the Vice President through the Deputy Chief of Staff, Ade Ipaye. Mr. Ipaye sided Mr. Gbolahan against me.”

Obono-Obla alleged he was also encumbered from investigating cases of corruption among some members of the national assembly by the office of the vice-president.

“Mr. Ipaye then wrote a letter stopping an investigation of a case of contract scam reported by Nigerian Ports Authority….. In April 2018, Mr. Ipaye invited me to his office and instructed me not to proceed with the investigation of some members of the National Assembly,” he wrote.

“In February 2019, Mr. Ipaye wrote to me instructing me to suspend the activities of the Panel on the purported ground that Government was reviewing its operations.

“When the Secretary of the Panel, Mr. Gbolahan left in 2018, he was replaced by Mr. Obinna Ogwuegbu, a nominee of the Vice President who started another bouts of antagonism and malice against me on the prompting of Mr. Ipaye.”

Recall that in August, President Muhammadu Buhari suspended Obono-Obla with immediate effect”.

In October, the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission declared Obono-Obla wanted.

But the ex-SPIP chairman said the commission is being used as a tool by the ”conspirators” against him.

“I have suffered so much persecution and witch-hunting because of the fact that I have carried out my assignment with patriotism, dedication, commitment and conviction. I don’t deserve this persecution and witch-hunt because of my refusal to be disloyal to Mr. President and allow the office of the Vice President to use the Panel to serve vested interest.

“The ICPC which is now being used against me is under the protege of the Vice President, Professor Bolaji Owasanoye. Professor Bolaji Owasanoye was part and parcel of the conspirators against me!

“I was also persecuted by the National Assembly! The whole issue of my purported certificate forgery was masterminded by the House of Representatives to get back at me because I had the guts to initiate an investigation against some powerful Senators, He said.

Obono-Obla also said he has called Buhari’s attention to the challenges, but nothing has been done.