Abuja – President Muhammadu Buhari has sacked Okoi Obono-Obla, head of the assets recovery panel, a source within the presidency has revealed.
The letter conveying his sack was believed to have been delivered to the Solicitor-General of the Federation and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Justice, Obla’s supervising ministry, on Wednesday.
With the latest development, Obla may face criminal prosecution on matters related to his alleged financial dealings, as uncovered by the ICPC upon investigation.
He may, in addition, face prosecution with regard to his academic credentials, specifically the WAEC certificate issue.
The source said government may ask the University of Jos to withdraw his law degree and the Nigerian Law School to debar him from practice.
This is owing to the conclusion of the ICPC investigation, the recommendations of which were approved in full by President Buhari.
When Daily Independent got in touch with Presidential Spokesman, Garba Shehu, to get further clarification on the matter, he said he was not briefed on the issue and asked that press enquiries be directed to the SGF.
Buhari Renames Nigerian Prisons Correctional Service
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has assented to an Act changing the name and nomenclature of the Nigerian Prisons Service to Nigerian Correctional Service.
The Act, which effectively repeals the Prisons Service Act, breaks the sector into custodial and non-custodial services with specific responsibilities.
The Bill, which was transmitted to the president on July 20, 2019, was assented to in August this year.
Under the new Act, prisoners who acquire skills while serving jail terms but start earning money from such ventures will be required by law to remit one third of his or her profit to the federation account. Some percentages will be his for keeps.
Also assented to, was a Bill changing the Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi, Benue State, to Joseph Sarwuan Tarka University.
For the custodial service, the Act stipulates that where an inmate sentenced to death has exhausted all legal procedures for appeal and a period of 10 years has elapsed without execution of the sentence, the Chief Judge may commute the sentence of death to life imprisonment.
In the new Act also, section 12 (8) empowers the state controller of the service to reject more intake of inmates where it is apparent that the correctional centre in question is filled to capacity.
Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Senator Ita Enang, who declined to comment on his alleged sack by the presidency, explained that under the custodial service clause, custody and control of persons legally interned in safe, secure, and humane conditions and conveying of remanded persons to and from courts in motorised formations, when necessary, will be covered under the new law.
The reforms also empowers the correctional service to identify the existence and causes of anti-social behaviours of inmates, including conducting risk and needs assessment with a view to developing appropriate correctional treatment methods for reformation, rehabilitation, and reintegration.
Enang said the Act encapsulated the implementation of reformation and rehabilitation programmes to enhance the reintegration of inmates in the society and initiating behaviour modification in inmates through the provision of medical, psychological, spiritual and counselling services for all offenders, including violent extremists.
The Act equally empowers inmates, through the deployment of educational and vocational skill training programmes, and facilitates incentives and income generation through custodial centres, farms and industries and administering borstal and related institutions; providing support to facilitate the speedy disposal of cases of persons awaiting trial.
Asked how feasible it would be for inmates to get what is due to them after government had made their deductions, he said the law stipulated that the money would be divided into three places: the person who produces will take one third, the prisoner will take one third, and the last one third will go to a consolidated revenue fund of the federation.
He explained that the essence of the Bill was to ensure there was enough funding for the service to take care of the welfare of the inmates and workers.
“Any alleged corrupt practices in terms of ration will be eliminated. The Act also provides that the service retains a percentage of what they generate in addition to budgetary provision to work with, so corrupt practices will be eliminated,” he stated.
The Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi, Benue State, was renamed after Joseph Sarwuan Tarka, who was born in 1932 and died in 1980.
He was a Nigerian politician from Benue State, and was Minister of Transport, then Minister of Communications in the administration of General Yakubu Gowon.
He was one of the founding members of the United Middle Belt Congress, a political organisation dedicated to protecting and advocating for the wellbeing of the country’s Middle Belt region.”