The federal government has submitted 39 names of alleged treasury looters to the Nigerian Immigration Service to prevent them from escaping investigation and prosecution for alleged criminal acts.
Chairman of the panel, Chief Okoi Obono-Obla disclosed this in a statement on Monday, and added that the action was in accordance with the provisions of the Executive Order No 6 of 2018.
Although details of the list were not made public, the panel said it 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, Dimeji Bankole, and the Tumsah brothers, among others.
Obono-Obla confirmed “the presidential panel has requested the NIS to place a travel ban on some persons who were alleged to have abused their offices and looted our commonwealth.”
He further revealed that the panel, in partnership with the Nigerian Intelligence Agency, is investigating Nigerians allegedly implicated in the Paradise Panama Papers. He said the “findings would be made available to Nigerians; in due course.
“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 these vehicles are bulletproof 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 an FCT High Court; in respect of these properties.
“In a counter move, typical of corruption fighting back, the duo recently approached the Court of Appeal which held that the panel does not have the 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” he said.
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