Alleged 4bn fraud: EFCC to apprehend ex-Anambra Gov Obiano Wednesday

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In the event of a last-minute change of plans, Willie Obiano, the immediate past governor of Anambra State, will be charged by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Wednesday, January 23, before Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court, Abuja, for allegedly laundering N4,008,573,350 in cash.

A source who spoke on Tuesday stated that the former governor will be charged with nine counts.

It was alleged that Obiano transferred “N4,008, 573, 350 from security votes into various accounts.” The insider claimed that the money was converted into dollars at different points and given back to Obiano in cash.

Slyvanus Tahir, SAN, the lead attorney for the EFCC, will oversee eight other attorneys during the former governor’s trial.
Some of the charges include: “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 Ple 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.”

Remember that on March 17, 2022, the former governor was being held at the Murtala Muhammad International Airport in Lagos, Nigeria, while getting ready to take a trip to Houston, Texas.

About 8.30 p.m., the arrest occurred, hours after he resigned as governor and, consequently, lost his protection from being detained or charged.

Before being detained on charges of corruption, he had been on the EFCC’s watchlist for a while.

Obiano was detained on suspicion of embezzling N5 billion in Sure-P and N37 billion in security votes that were taken out in cash. The EFCC had claimed at the time that some of the money had also been improperly used to support political activity within the state.

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