In a bid to increase the tempo of the anti-war war, the federal government has banned 29 prominent Nigerians from travelling out of the country following ongoing corruption cases against them.
The Special Presidential Investigation Panel for the Recovery of Public Property said yesterday that it had submitted names of 29 persons who are to be banned from traveling abroad following corruption cases against them to the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) .
Recalls that the federal government had in October this year, placed 50 Nigerians on watch list following ongoing corruption cases against them. A government spokesman had said that 50 high-profile Nigerians were banned from leaving the country.
“A number of enforcement procedures are currently in place by which the Nigeria Immigration Service and other security agencies have placed no fewer than 50 high profile persons directly affected by EO6 on watch-list and restricted them from leaving the county pending the determination of their cases,” presidential spokesman Garba Shehu had said in a statement.
Shehu said the financial transactions of these persons of interest were being monitored by the relevant agencies to ensure that the assets are not dissipated and such persons do not interfere with, nor corrupt the investigation and litigation processes.
The order came less than 48 hours after a Federal High Court in Abuja upheld Buhari’s Executive Order 6 aimed at seizing assets of corrupt persons and institutions in Nigeria.
However, reports that although names of prominent Nigerians were published as those affected by the ban, the federal government later refuted it, saying it had not released any names.
But speaking yesterday at the 2018 media briefing, the chairman of the asset recovery panel, Chief Okoi Obono-Obla, listed 29 people banned from traveling until their cases are determined.
Senator David Mark
Senator David Mark
“We have compiled 29 names and submitted to the controller general of the Immigration Service. The 29 people will be banned from traveling because they have corruption charges. Their names have been given to Immigration Service. They won’t be allowed to travel,” Obla added.
They include: Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu, Senator Hope Uzodimma, former Senate President David Mark, former House of Representatives Speaker Dimeji Bankole, former Deputy Speaker Usman Nafada, former aviation minister Stella Odua, Folake Oke, Senator Peter Nwaoboshi, Abubakar Yar’Adua, Olisah Metuh, former Sokoto State governor Attahiru Bafarawa, and the Tumsa brothers.
While dispelling allegations that the president interfered with the anti-corruption fight, Obla said every agency works without the interference of the presidency.
“The president is not interfering in the anti-graft war,”Obla said, adding, “He told me I should resist any interference from every quarter.”
Obla further revealed that some other prominent Nigerians are under investigation for their alleged involvement in corrupt practices, adding that the anti-graft outfit had visited the issue of the Panama Papers.
“We have gone into area where others have left untouched, “ Obla said referring to the Panama issue.
“We have gone into investigating the issue of the Panama Papers. We have found out that many Nigerian public officers have properties abroad and we are in collaboration with the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) to unravel the issue of the Panama papers, “ Obla added.