EFCC set to arraign former Anambra Governor, Willie Obiano for alleged N4billion fraud

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has concluded its investigations and is set to arraign former Anambra State Governor, Willie Obiano before Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court, Abuja, for alleged fraud.

The anti-graft agency will arraign Obiano over alleged money laundering to the tune of N4,008,573,350 belonging to the Anambra State government while he was in office.

SaharaReporters reported in March 17, 2022 that former Governor Obiano was arrested at the Murtala Muhammad International Airport, Lagos, as he was preparing to board a flight to Houston, the United States of America.

EFCC had announced that his arrest took place at about 8.30pm, noting that he had been on EFCC’s watch list for some time over corruption allegations.
“Obiano was arrested for alleged misappropriation of public funds, including N5 billion Sure-P and N37 billion security vote which was withdrawn in cash. Part of the funds was also allegedly diverted to finance political activities in the state,” EFCC had said then.

However, a charge filed at the Federal High Court, Abuja sighted by Leadership Newspaper, showed that the EFCC would be prosecuting the former governor on nine-count charges bordering on illegal withdrawal of security vote and money laundering.

According to the court documents, Slyvanus Tahir, SAN, will lead eight other lawyers in the trial of the former governor.
In the court documents, EFCC accused Obiano unlawfully moving N4,008,573,350 from security votes into different accounts, through which it was converted into dollars and returned to him in cash.

Some of the charges read: “That you, Chief Willie Maduabuchi Obiano, whilst being the executive governor of Anambra State of Nigeria between March 2014 – March 2022, sometime between 7th February, 2018 to 18th February, 2019 in Abuja, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, indirectly transferred through Mr Willie Nwokoye, your then principal private secretary, the sum of N156,800.00 only from the Anambra State Government Security Vote Account No: 5030050875 domiciled in Fidelity Bank Pic into the Fidelity Bank Plc Account No: 6060018819 belonging to C.I. Patty Ventures Nigeria Limited (an entity that had no business relationship with the Anambra State Government), which funds were dissipated for purposes unrelated / unconnected with the security affairs of Anambra State, which you reasonably ought to have known that such funds formed part of the proceeds of your unlawful act, to wit: (Stealing and Corruption) and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 15 (2) (b) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 (as amended) in 2012 and punishable under Section 15 (3) of the same Act.
 

“That you, Chief Willie Maduabuchi Obiano, whilst being the executive governor of Anambra State of Nigeria between March 2014 — March 2022, sometime between 9th August, 2017 to 4th March, 2020 in Abuja, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, indirectly transferred through Mr Willie Nwokoye, your then principal private secretary, the sum of N261,268,585.00 only from the Anambra State Government Security Vote Account No: 5030050875 domiciled in Fidelity Bank Plc into the Fidelity Bank Plc Account No: 5600062873 belonging to Easy Diamond Integrated Link (an entity that had no business relationship with the Anambra State Government), which funds were dissipated for purposes unrelated / unconnected with the security affairs of Anambra State, which you reasonably ought to have known that such funds formed part of the proceeds of your unlawful act, to wit: (Stealing and Corruption) and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 15 (2) (b) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 (as amended) in 2012 and punishable under Section 15 (3) of the same Act.”