Obono-Obla’s Arrest, Detention Followed Due Process – ICPC
The ICPC has said the arrest and detention of the former chairman of the defunct Special Presidential Investigation Panel, Okoi Obono-Obla, was done within the ambits of the law.
The ICPC said this via a statement signed by its spokesperson, Rashidat Okoduwa, on Saturday.
The commission was responding to a press statement issued by a counsel representing Mr Obono-Obla.
F. Baba Isah accused the ICPC of arresting and detaining the suspended chairman in “a malicious manner.”
Mr Obono-Obla was accused of falsifying his West Africa Examinations Council (WAEC) certificate. He was suspended by President Muhammadu Buhari in August 2019, after several investigations by the ICPC and a committee of the House of Representatives in 2018.
Sequel to his removal from office, the ICPC declared him wanted for allegedly refusing to honour its invitation.
He was later arrested on March 20, by operatives of the commission in an undisclosed location in the Federal Capital Territory.
The ICPC said Mr Obono-Obla’s alleged constant refusal to honor invitations breached the Commision’s Act, 2000 and other allied criminal statutes.
But the ICPC in its latest statement highlighted efforts it took before it embarked on its arrest of Mr Obono-Obla.
The commission noted that due process was followed.
It said “Chief Obono-Obla was granted administrative bail on conditions that the Commission considered appropriate and reasonable based on the circumstances of his disregard for lawful invitations which made him a potential flight risk.
“In order to ensure he was not illegally detained while investigation was still ongoing, the Commission obtained a remand order from the Federal High Court, Abuja authorising his remand pending conclusion of investigation and fixing return date for 7th April, 2020.
“It is therefore not true as suggested in the press release that he is being illegally detained. His release now can only be approved by the Court.”
Also, the ICPC said due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic ravaging the country, it has been able to provide “a vehicle with a driver and a policeman to convey his (suspect’s) wife from home to the commission and back home twice a day to facilitate his feeding, having refused the food provided by the commission.”
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