The Centre for Anti-corruption and Open Leadership, CACOL, has expressed support to the Special Presidential Investigative Panel on Recovery of Public Property, led by Okoi Obono-Obla, for its efforts at recovering an alleged suspicious purchase of shares worth N65mn (Sixty-Five Million Naira) and other assets illegally acquired by Mrs. Aisha Fanya Usman, a top official of the Petroleum Equalization Fund (PEF).

The CACOL’s Executive Chairman, Mr. Debo Adeniran, in a release issued by the organization’s Coordinator of Media and Publications, Adegboyega Otunuga, stated, “Information at our disposal shows that Mr. Obono –Obla, who serves as the Chairman to the Special Presidential Investigative Panel on Recovery of Public Property had written to the Petroleum Equalization Fund (PEF) about one of its top-notch officials, one Mrs. Aisha Usman, and similarly filed an ex-parte application at the Federal High court in Abuja, seeking for the interim forfeiture to the Federal Government of shares worth N65mn (Sixty-Five Million Naira) and other suspicious assets worth several additional millions of Naira, illegally acquired by this same official. The investigative panel was reportedly investigating some staff of the Petroleum fund before they stumbled on information that revealed that sometimes in January, 2018, this official bought shares in some blue-chip companies, totalling reported sum.

“Also listed in the SPIP letter were other ill-gotten assets by this same official, that include: 24 separate bank accounts linked to her, a property at Plot 46, Damaturu Crescent, Garki, Area 11, Abuja, and another property at 9, Prince Obi Emmanuel Street, Brains & Hammers Estate, Apo Village, Abuja. At the point of search conducted on her residence, huge sums of cash recovered also included N800, 000 (Eight Hundred Thousand Naira), Five Hundred Euros, over Fifteen Thousand Dinah, 18 Carat White gold and 1 Carat yellow gold. Her N65mn worth of shares are in Seplat Petroleum Plc, Stanbic IBTC Holdings, Oando Plc, , GTB, Dangote Cement Plc, and United Bank for Africa (UBA) . In one of her accounts with Stanbic Bank Plc., was also deposited about N40mn (Forty Million Naira) and several other millions pof Naira in her stock-broking account with Stanbic IBTC Stockbrokers Ltd.”

The CACOL Coordinator added, “With this woman’s revealed kleptomaniac and grand acquisitive tendencies, the world could easily view why Nigeria has been forced to its knees economically by those entrusted to administer the nation. If a Civil Servant (who the panel has described as very rich) could expropriate so much illegally to herself rather than use the resources for its original purpose, you can then imagine how serious the looting would be on the part of political office holders who have the approval and final dispensing powers. As the Chairman of this Presidential panel, Obono-Obla may have his own corruption issues yet unresolved, but we commend any acts geared at full recovery and return of all stolen assets belonging to the nation. This laudable step should be followed up to its final conclusion while investigation on others must be intensified towards ascertaining the extent and degree of involvement in corruption of other similarly, highly placed officials of the PEF and other cognate government establishments; after which all recovered sums and other assets must be fully ploughed back and converted to their original purposes and benefits to the nation, while the guilty should not be spared to serve as a deterrent in the fight against corruption.