Nigeria Police has said an aide to President Muhamamdu Buhari, Mr Okoi Obono-Obla has questions to answer with regards to allegation of assault and theft of $2000!
Mr Obla, a Special Assistant to the president on prosecutions, deny the allegations.
See the Police invitation:
The Acting President, Professor Yemi Osibanjo recently appointed Mr. Okoi Obono-Obla as the Chairman, Special Presidential Investigation Panel for the Recovery of Public Property.
A Press Release ISSUED ON 17th October, 2017, from Okoi Obono-Obla:
To: Media Houses
From: The Media Adviser to the SA to the President on Prosecution and Chairman, Special Presidential Panel on the Recovery of Public Property.
Title: A Tale of Falsehood about the SA to the President
The attention of the Office of the Senior Special Adviser to the President on Prosecution and Chairman, Special Presidential Panel on the Recovery of Government Property has been drawn to an online publication, elombah.com, alleging that the SA to the President on Prosecution Okoi Obono-Obla has been declared wanted by the Police.
We would like to use this opportunity to refute this malicious falsehood perpetuated by agents opposed to the anti-corruption war and the bold utterances of Chief Okoi Obono-Obla on corruption and its perpetuators.
At no time has the Police or any security agency served the SA to the President on Prosecution any letter of invitation on any matter as alleged by the said online publication. This is just a smear campaign with the intention of rubbishing one of the voices of the anti-corruption war of the President Buhari administration, which is bent on eliminating corruption in Nigeria and returning the nation to its footing where it is no longer business as usual.
For the avoidance of doubt, the SA to the President on Prosecution is first a respected and reputable Lawyer and activist with a robust legal practice of over twenty five years. He has practiced in this noble profession with passion and responsibility over the years, speaking and fighting the cause of the common man, the voiceless and earning himself the reputation of “the people’s advocate” and nicknamed “Okoi Advocate” by close friends.
It is his sterling attributes, vocal nature and uncompromising stance for good governance that endeared him to President Muhammadu Buhari in the early days of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), where he was first the National Legal Adviser before taking up other responsibilities for the party. It is still this his uncompromising nature and vocal stance against corruption that earned him the position of Chairman, Special Presidential Panel on the Recovery of Public Property to push further the Buhari administration’s war on corruption.
It is a pity that the publisher of elombah.com, a supposed media gatekeeper, a member of the Fourth Estate of the Realm who should know better will allow himself to be used to spread falsehood with the aim of denting the image and reputation of the SA to the President on Prosecution.
Inasmuch as Chief Obla would not want to join issues with the publisher of elombah.com and the sponsors of the falsehood, we owe the public the right to know the truth as a holder of public office and trust of the people.
This false publication, we believe, is however not unconnected with the rantings of a certain disgruntled Julius Atanawhemera who had been sending threat messages to Mr. Obla as a result of his employing his estranged wife. One of the threat messages reads, “You (referring to Obla) have the effrontery to ignore the invitation of the Nigerian Police duly served on you based on my petition of assault against you! Obla, you are not above the law. I will use the law to correct ur (sic) wrongs against me & my son no matter ur (sic) position in government & the course of time. Julius Atanawhemera, Esq, NPN, Dip.”
Julius Atanawhemera whom we believe has been perpetuating these falsehoods and twisting facts to suit his purpose, to whoever cares to listen, is making bold his threats to smear the name of Chief Okoi Obono-Obla.
The claim by Julius that the SA to the President is responsible for his missing $2,000, battery, illegal use of phone is not the only claim and accusation that Julius Atanawhemera has laid against Obla. Before now, he had accused Obla to have abducted his son and wife. The said Julius had sent text messages to Obla’s wife that her husband, Okoi Obono-Obla is keeping his estranged wife and son. In all of these, Obla’s wrong has been providing employment to one Ms. Evbu Igbinedion whom Julius said is his estranged wife. Ever since Ms. Igbinedion started working in the office of the SA to the President on Prosecution by virtue of her legal background, Julius has labelled all manner of accusations to Obla.
According to an interview with Ms. Igbinedion conducted by The Metro Lawyer (TML), an online media, published 8th April, 2017, Ms. Igbinedion admitted that she was married to Julius Atanawhemera but decided to opt out of the marriage as a result of Julius’ violent behavior and battery. That, Julius whom she refers to as her former husband had beaten and brutalized her a number of times in their home and in public places. It came to a head when according to her in the TML report, Julius beat her to unconsciousness, “I left him in August, 2014, almost three years ago, when he beat me to a state of unconsciousness. I was barely three months post-natal from a caesarean section birth. I was rushed to DIFF Hospital by my family members and was revived at the hospital. I was discharged from the hospital some days later and did not go back to his house”, she stated.
We have painstakingly provided this detailed background so that the public will know the character and kind of person we are dealing with and to unravel the mask behind lies.
According to the TML report, Ms. Igbinedion said, since she left Julius, he had taken her as a project, “He must have thought I would not be able to cope with such a young baby but by the grace of God, I’ve been able to get a job and my son and I are doing just fine. This is what has been biting him and he has tried on several occasions to make me lose my job and frustrate me” she told TML. In the report, she added that “He (Julius) has embarrassed me a number of times by sending threats to my boss, Chief Obla and even his wife, alleging that my boss took his wife away. I left this man about three years ago and only just got this job last year so where is the truth in that allegation?”
This has been the genesis of the problem that led to Julius’ accusation of Obla as being responsible for his battery, his missing $2000 and illegal use of phones.
In another of The Metro Lawyer’ (TML) report, “Unity Bar PRO In Assault And Detention Mess At Federal Min Of Justice”, of 8th April, 2017, TML said it acted on a social media platform report of the Unity Bar branch of the NBA where The Public Relations Officer of the Unity Bar, Mr Julius Atanawhemera, Esq was reported to have been arrested and detained at the Federal Secretariat Police Station. According to the report, Mr Atanawhemera was alleged to have been arrested by Chief Obono Obla and his (Julius) estranged wife, his phones taken away and was detained at the Federal Secretariat Police Station”.. This was another of Julius’ twisted tale to smear the name of Chief Obono-Obla. TML was to later report the true position.
According to TML’s investigation and report, Mr Julius Atanawhemera’s estranged wife Ms Evbu Igbinedion, is a staff in Chief Okoi Obono-Obla’s office, and he (Julius) had accompanied a court bailiff to serve court processes in a divorce proceedings he instituted against her when a fracas ensued. TML reported that according to eye witnesses, Julius conducted himself in questionable manner while in the office of the SA on Prosecutions to the extent of raining abuses and insults on staff and visitors creating a big scene which attracted the intervention of the Police men on guard at the Federal Secretariat.
In all of these, TML confirmed in their report that the presidential aide, Obono-Obla was not present when the incident happened. But Mr. Julius was quick to throw in the SA’s name as the one who arrested him. He has now found it convenient to accuse Mr. Obla of being responsible for his missing phones, battery and $2,000 as opposed to the $20,000 he earlier claimed in continuation of his tale of falsehood and misinformation.
This is the information which is being bandied by the online media ELOMBAH.COM reporting that the SA to the President, Okoi Obono-Obla was wanted by the Police.
We wish to state that this is the lowest form of junk journalism by the so called ELOMBAH.COM media house. It is regrettable that in today’s free space, almost anybody with internet access can establish a website and start disseminating all manner of hearsay as news. It is even most regrettable that those who should know better will act on the misinformation to ‘disinform’ the undiscerning public.
We have kept quiet before now in the face of the falsehoods been peddled around by Julius Atanawhemera and his cohorts who have constituted themselves into a nuisance value ever since. But, we have decided to put the records straight and to let the public know that it is not whatever that is reported that is considered the true position.
The report by elombah.com about the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Prosecution and Chairman, Special Presidential Panel on the Recovery of Public Property, Okoi Obono-Obla is totally false, a fabrication from a demented mind, meting out his frustrations on an innocent government official. Good journalism and ethics of the profession entails that a journalist verify the information received and the source of that information. The office of the SA to the President is always open and Mr Obla is always within reach to verify any information. The idea of hiding under the cover of the “his telephone could not be reached” is the excuse of the lazy.
We would like to use this opportunity to state that publishing falsehoods against an individual or group constitutes an offence and is punishable by law.
Since this publication was sponsored, Mr. Obla has been inundated with calls asking the veracity of the story. We once again assure the general public, friends and colleagues of the SA to the President that the content of the said publication is false, a smear campaign in a bid to truncate his good work in the fight against corruption.
Sebastine Eko ( 0805 274 5953)
Media Adviser to the SA to the President on Prosecution and Chairman Special Presidential Panel on the Recovery of Public Property (SPIP).