Investigation Unveils Undeclared $2 Billion and Gold Bars Recovered from Jonathan’s Minister

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Obono-Obla, the former Chairman of the Special Presidential Investigation Panel for the Recovery of Public Property (SPIP) under President Muhammadu Buhari, has revealed a high-profile case involving the recovery of substantial funds and gold bars from a minister in former President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration.

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In a recent interview on the Mic On Podcast with Seun Okinbaloye, Obono-Obla disclosed details about a case brought to SPIP by Major General Adam Yusuf (Retd.). According to Obono-Obla, Yusuf helped recover $2 billion and gold bars from the residence of a minister who served during Jonathan’s tenure.

The whistleblower claimed an agreement with a senior government official, believed to be the late Abba Kyari, for a commission on the recovered assets. However, Obono-Obla stated that after the operation, only a fraction of the assets were declared to the government—350 million gold bars out of 850 million.

Under Obono-Obla’s leadership, an investigation led by an assistant commissioner of police interviewed several individuals, including Shuma Zerebe from Anambra State. These testimonies confirmed the substantial recovery, allegedly conducted by the Department of State Services (DSS), though the custody of the assets remains unclear.

Obono-Obla expressed concerns over discrepancies between reported recovery figures and actual assets retrieved, suggesting deliberate misrepresentation. He noted that political constraints hindered further action against high-ranking officials involved, including Abba Kyari.

The allegations highlight potential malfeasance in the highest echelons of government during Jonathan’s administration, raising significant questions about transparency and accountability in asset recovery operations.

In August 2019, Okoi Obono-Obla was suspended by President Buhari over allegations of record falsification and financial impropriety. His suspension, ordered by the then-Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, directed an immediate investigation by the ICPC.

Obono-Obla faced accusations of using a forged WAEC certificate for university admission, falsifying records in office, and conducting unauthorized investigations for personal gain. He defended himself, claiming persecution for exposing corruption among powerful lawmakers, but critics argue his actions undermined SPIP’s anti-corruption mandate and questioned Buhari’s administration’s sincerity in tackling internal corruption.

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