The dirty hands doctrine argues that “he who comes to equity must come with clean hands”, however the Chairman Presidential Panel on Recovery of Property, Okoi Obla-Obono’s recent operations leaves a whole lot to be desired. In seeking equity, he has not done equity. His hands are dirty. Obla-Obono has turned his assignment into a well-oiled blackmail and extortion machinery to feather his nest in preparation of a much vaunted gubernatorial ambition to challenge Governor Ben Ayade.
The purpose driven leadership of Ibrahim Magu threw out a group of shady policemen who were bent on embarrassing the EFCC and the government by the constant harassment of suspects. They had turned themselves into an underground exploitative gang chasing the relations of suspects and their lawyers asking for plea bargains that ended up in their pockets. This group was shown the way out of the Commission by Magu, they became administratively orphaned and dejected and found a new home when the Obla Presidential Committee was inaugurated. In all of this, there is the overreaching administrative insubordination of flouting the gag order placed on him by the Attorney General of the Federation. He was asked not to grant interviews but to seek clearance first.
Another sordid case is the matter of Evbu Igbinedium. Even though the bible says in Exodus 20:17, “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house, you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife…” Obla has been accused by Mr Julius Atanawhemera of coveting his wife, in addition to at some point abducting the woman Ms Evbu Igbinedion.
He also accused Obla of being responsible for assault, threat to life, abduction, illegal use of phones and theft of cash. In the police invitation with Ref No. 3000/X/FHQ/ABJ/Vol.218/245 dated June 28, 2017 and signed by Umar Mamman Sanda, a Deputy Commissioner of Police (admin) for Deputy Inspector General of police in-charge of Force Criminal Intelligence and Investigation Department, the invitation reads:
Police Invitation: Okoi Obono-Obla Esq
“This office is investigating a case of alleged assault, battery, threat to life, abduction, illegal use of phones and theft of cash valued $2000 (Two Thousand Dollars) in which the name of Okoi Obono-Obla Esq featured prominently…”
Another mind boggling case reported by the Nigerian Pilot in its edition of November 8th is the alleged petitions written against Obla whereby it was alleged that from August to date he had collected the sum of N1.2 Billion from five Governors promising to shield them from investigation.
An anti-corruption crusader jumping from one controversy to the other! This goes to show that Obono-Obla is unfit to hold the office he is currently holding at the moment. He is morally bankrupt and does not bring equity to equity. The sooner he is shown the way out, the earlier the better for the government. If the FG is serious about fighting corruption then Chief Okoi Obono-Obla is not the man for the job.
Abasi is the head of the Coalition for Justice Advocacy C.J.A. He writes from Calabar, Cross River State.