Vice Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) during the 2019 election, Mr. Peter Obi, has welcomed the proposed probe of his foreign business operations by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) as a result of the recently released Pandora Papers.
Though Obi was not accused of either stealing public funds or money laundering in the leaked papers, reports in a section of the media say that he has been invited for questioning by EFCC.
But reacting through a statement on Monday by his Media Office, signed by Valentine Obienyem, Obi said he was yet to get the EFCC letter probably because from what he read on social media, it was sent to an office he was no longer part of.
“However,” the statement further reads, “Obi being a law abiding Nigerian will honour all legitimate invitations from government agencies at all times.”
Obi had in the wake of initial media publications on the Pandora Papers insisted that he broke no law. He said it was instructive that nowhere in the publications was he accused of any form of corruption, whether in the form of diversion of public funds or in any other manner during and after his stewardship as the governor of Anambra State.
He added that the publication did not also allege that he had been engaged in unlawful business ventures at any time whatsoever.
Obi said his understanding was that the allegation bordered more on tax avoidance and non-declaration of some jointly owned assets. He then wondered if a thorough scrutiny and appreciation of all the facts and circumstances surrounding the alleged transactions were made by the writers.
“On the allegation that I violated the Nigerian Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act, as well as sections of the 5th Schedule to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), by not declaring any alleged assets in Companies registered outside the Nigerian Federation, I think that the authors displayed ignorance on matters of Trust and International Investment Practices,” he said.
The former governor said he did not in any respect whatsoever violate any law before, during and after his stewardship as the Governor of Anambra.
He said that in all matters relating to his investments and declaration of his personal assets, wherever they may be found, he proceeded, pursuant to professional opinions and advice of investment experts both locally and internationally.
Obi said he also engaged and acted on solicited advice by reputable legal practitioners on whose opinion he relied.
He urged all well-meaning persons to see through what he called “the hopeless sleight, and ignore the publications”.