Presidential Panel Submits Criminal Investigative Reports On Stella
Oduah, Pinnick, 4 NFF Officials

The Special Presidential Investigation Panel on the Recovery of Public
Property has sent to the Solicitor-General of the Federation, Dayo
Apata, a list containing reports on 23 cases being handled by the
panel up till the time its Chairman, Okoi Obono-Obla, was suspended,
Punch reports.

President Muhammadu Buhari had on August 14, 2019, through the
Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha,
suspended Obono-Obla and directed Apata to take charge of the panel.

Mustapha said Obono-Obla would be investigated for records
falsification and extortion.

In compliance with the SGF’s directive, Apata sent an August 15, 2019
letter to then head of the panel’s legal unit, Celsus Ukpong,
demanding reports on “all cases instituted or involving the panel”
within 48 hours.

Ukpong’s letter dated August 29, 2019 and containing reports on 23
cases of the SPIP, was addressed to Apata, who doubles as the
Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Justice.

In the document titled, ‘Re: Report on all prosecution and court
processes’, some of the cases on the list included criminal cases
against the Anambra North senator, Stella Oduah, and the President of
the Nigerian Football Federation, Amaju Pinnick, and four other NFF
officials.

Other prominent cases which were either for interim forfeiture or
fundamental rights enforcement included, Akwa Ibom North-East senator,
Bassey Akpan, ex-governorship candidate of the All Progressives
Congress in Imo State, Hope Uzodinma, Access Bank Plc, and the
International Tower Limited.

On Oduah’s case, Ukpon’s letter reports, “FRN V. Senator Stella Adaeze
Oduah FHC/ABJ/CR/108/2019.

“This matter is pending before Court 4 of the Federal High Court in
Abuja. The charge is on non-declaration of assets, before the panel,
possession of foreign accounts, etc.”

The report identified two cases involving Pinnick.

Reporting on the one with suit number, FHC/ABJ/CR/93/19 and named, FRN
V. Amaju Melvin Pinnick & four others, Ukpong stated, “We filed 17
count charges against the respondents. At the last date, they all
failed to come to court to take a plea. The court issued a bench
warrant against four of them. We are yet to execute the bench warrant.
The matter was adjourned till the 26/9/19 for taking of plea.”

On another case involving Pinnick marked, FHC/ABJ/CR/17/2019, Ukpong
stated that it was “an originating summons seeking to answer questions
pertaining to the powers of the panel to Investigate the applicant.
Matter adjourned till 14/10/19 for the adoption of written addresses
of the parties.”

Concerning Oduah’s case, the report stated, “This matter is pending
before Court 4 of the Federal High Court in Abuja.

“The charge is on non-declaration of assets, before the panel,
possession of foreign accounts, etc.

“The court has issued a summons for the defendant to appeal on the
next adjourned date to take a plea to the charge. The next adjourned
date is October 9, 2019.”

On Senator Akpan’s case, the report stated, “The defendant appeared
before the panel. He wrote his statement denying the allegations
against him.

“On his neglect or failure to complete and return assets declaration
form, we filed a charge against him in suit FHC/ABJ/CR/108/2018”.

The report also highlighted some other cases which are challenging the
powers of the SPIP to file and case in court.
 

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