Chairman of the panel, Special Presidential Investigation Panel for the Recovery of Public Funds, SPIPRPP, Chief Okoi Obono Obla, has submitted names of 39 alleged treasury looters to the Nigeria Immigration Service, NIS, for the purpose of stopping them from traveling abroad.
According to him, the action was in accordance with the provisions of the Executive Order No 6 of 2018.
He revealed that the panel in partnership with the Nigerian Intelligence Agency, NIA, was investigating some Nigerians allegedly implicated in the Paradise Panama Papers.
He said “findings will be made available to Nigerians in due course.”
He said the list of 39 persons contained those currently under its investigation, including the governorship candidate of the All Progressive Congress, APC, in Imo State, Senator Hope Uzodinma; former Senate President, David Mark; former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Demeji Bankole and the Tunsa brothers, Tijani Tunsa and Ibrahim Tunsa) among others.
He said, “The Presidential Panel has requested the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), to place a travel ban on some persons who are alleged to have abused their offices and looted our commonwealth.
“The panel is investigating the Tumsah brothers: Tijani Tumsah (Vice Chairman, Presidential Initiative on North East) and Ibrahim Tumsah (Director, Finance and Accounts, Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing) for alleged abuse of office, corruption and possession of unaccounted suspicious wealth beyond their legitimate earnings.
“The Panel has recovered an assortment of 86 brand-new luxury and sophisticated cars from the duo; 23 of those vehicles are bullet-proof without the requisite permits.
“Also recovered from them are several choice properties, located in highbrow areas of Abuja and a quarry in Kuje, the Federal Capital Territory. The panel has since obtained an interim order of forfeiture from FCT High Court in Abuja in respect of these properties.
“In a counter move, typical of corruption fighting back, the duo recently approached Court of Appeal that held that the panel does not have power to obtain interim forfeiture from the FCT High Court pursuant to the EFCC Act but from the Federal High Court pursuant to the recovery of public property (special provision) Act 2004 which has mischievously been misinterpreted and deliberately propagated by the appellants to mean that this panel has no power to prosecute any matter in any court.
“Some of these other pronouncements obviously reached ‘per incuriam’ have been challenged at the Supreme Court.”