By Adedayo Akinwale
A lawyer and human rights activist, Barr. Oluwatosin Ojaomo, has petitioned the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) seeking the prosecution of a former Director of Finance and Administration at the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Ibrahim Tumsah, and his brother Tijani Tumsah over allegations of corruption.
Addressing journalists after submitting the petition on Wednesday at the headquarters of the anti-graft agency, Ojaomo said that Ibrahim Tumsah was one of the public officers that was investigated by the defunct Special Presidential Investigation Panel of Public Property (SPIP) over his alleged failure to declare his ownership of about 86 cars.
He said Tijanni Tumsah was investigated for allegedly engaging in corrupt practices at the Presidential Initiative on North East.
Ojaomo stressed that as an anti-graft campaigner, he had decided to pursue this matter to a logical conclusion going by the anti-corruption mantra of the President Muhammadu Buhari led government.
He stressed that It would be a disservice not just to the nation, but to persons like himself who were lobbied severally to bury this matter at the panel, but refused all the entreaties due to his belief in the current administration’s war against corruption.
The anti-graft campaigner alleged that it was on record that there were overwhelming evidence against the Tumsah brothers which can be used to prosecute them in the law court.
He said, “My decision to petition your office on this matter stem from the fact that the court of appeal didn’t discharge and acquit the Tumsah brothers for the allegations levelled against them by the Special Presidential Investigation Panel for Recovery of Public Property, but only said the agency which brought the matter to court does not possess the statutory powers to so do.”
He said that as an anti-corruption campaigner and Special Prosecutor with the defunct SPIP, he believed that allowing this matter to be swept under the carpet would not only affect the anti-corruption campaign of this government, but would continue to affect the image of the government going by the public commendation that followed the announcement of their investigation in the media.
Ojaomo stated: “It is shocking to hear that all the cars and properties recovered from the suspects have been returned to them under a very suspicious under hand deal”.
“I have been duly informed that due to the sack of Obono Obla and the subsequent dissolution of the panel, the Tumsahs have (allegedly) recovered all their properties and currently enjoying the proceeds of this crime.”
Ojaomo therefore called on ICPC to investigate the matter and file charges in court in other to build public confidence in the anti-corruption war of the government.
Efforts to get Tumsah’s reaction to the petition were unsuccessful.