Ex-SPIP Chairman Accuses Buhari Administration of Inaction on Alleged $69 Billion in Stolen Oil Proceeds

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Former Chairman of Nigeria’s Special Presidential Investigation Panel for the Recovery of Public Property (SPIP), Okoi Obono-Obla, has accused President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration of failing to act on the recovery of an estimated $69 billion allegedly linked to stolen crude oil proceeds in a Texas-based bank account.

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In an interview on the Mic On Podcast with Seun Okinbaloye, Obono-Obla cited a letter from an American law firm detailing the illicit funds. He expressed frustration over the lack of decisive action, stating, “I informed the president, expecting action to recover such colossal sums, but to date, nothing has been done.”

Obono-Obla also highlighted the dismissive response from Nigerian authorities. “I wrote to the Attorney General (Abubakar Malami, SAN) seeking support, only to be met with sarcasm. When I mentioned recovering $69 billion, his response was dismissive,” he revealed.

Reflecting on his tenure at SPIP, Obono-Obla criticized systemic failures in addressing corruption allegations. “Despite presenting concrete evidence and initiating legal processes, many cases stagnated without resolution,” he said.

The accusations have reignited scrutiny over Nigeria’s efforts to combat corruption and reclaim misappropriated public assets during President Buhari’s tenure. SPIP, established in 2017, was tasked with investigating and recovering embezzled funds. Critics argue that such allegations underscore persistent challenges in Nigeria’s anti-corruption campaign and emphasize the need for stronger measures to ensure accountability and transparency in public governance.

In August 2019, Okoi Obono-Obla was suspended by President Muhammadu Buhari over allegations of falsification of records and financial impropriety. The suspension, conveyed through a letter from the then-Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, directed Obono-Obla’s immediate removal pending investigations by the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC).

The controversy stemmed from accusations that Obono-Obla gained admission to the University of Jos with a forged West African Examination Certificate and falsified records while in office. Additionally, his tenure at SPIP was marked by accusations of abuse of office, unauthorized investigations, and overstepping his mandate. Critics, including SPIP members, accused him of conducting over 50 investigations outside the panel’s scope for personal gain.

Obono-Obla defended himself, claiming persecution for exposing corruption among powerful lawmakers. However, critics argue that his actions undermined the anti-corruption mandate of SPIP and raised questions about the sincerity of Buhari’s administration in tackling corruption within its ranks.

His suspension letter stated that Obono-Obla would face “criminal prosecution on matters related to his alleged financial dealings, as uncovered by the ICPC upon investigation.” It also mentioned that the government might ask the University of Jos to withdraw his law degree and the Nigerian Law School to debar him from practice.

Adeniyi Ogunfowoke, The Naija247news
Adeniyi Ogunfowoke, The Naija247newshttps://naija247news.com/
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