The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) says it has made special arrangement for the wife of Okoi Obono-Obla, suspended chairman of the Special Presidential Investigation Panel, to visit him twice a day while in custody.
Obono-Obla was arrested on March 20, 2020, by the ICPC, which is investigating allegations of corrupt practices levelled against him.
The commission said before his arrest, the suspended chairman “had been declared wanted and the relevant law enforcement agencies informed to arrest him if found.”
It said on the day he was arrested, which was a Friday, “none of his lawyers came for him”.
“Access to him would definitely have been granted if any lawyer had come on that day. Since the arrest, the Commission has allowed daily access to Chief Obono-Obla by his wife and family members, who bring him food. From 23rd March, 2020 his lawyers, including a respectable Senior Advocate of Nigeria, have also had unencumbered access to him. Furthermore, he received a visit from an Honourable Member of the House of Representatives,” the agency said in a statement.
The commission added that Obono-Obla was granted administrative bail on conditions that it “considered appropriate and reasonable based on the circumstances of his disregard for lawful invitations which made him a potential flight risk.
“However, as part of efforts to ensure he was not illegally detained since investigation into the allegations made against him were ongoing, “the Commissioned 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.
“In processing Chief Obono-Obla, due process was ensured as his arrest was done with a warrant, just as the search in his house upon which documents relevant to investigation were retrieved. Items taken away for investigation were listed and the list duly signed by Chief Obono-Obla himself,” the agency said.
“About Chief Obono-Obla’s health, he was run through standard medical protocols when he was brought into the Commission and continues to have access to medical care at the National Hospital as necessary.
“The point is hereby made that the Commission operates within the provisions of the law at all times and accords the best of consideration to those it has to interact with whether or not in detention. Chief Obono-Obla’s case is no different.”