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Why EFCC arrested ex-Anambra Governor, Willie Obiano

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) arrested former Anambra Governor, Willie Obiano in Lagos on Thursday.   He was picke...

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) arrested former Anambra Governor, Willie Obiano in Lagos on Thursday.

 

He was picked up hours after leaving the seat of power, handing over to successor Governor Charles Soludo, a former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor.

 

Obiano was cornered around 8:30 p.m. at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) as he headed to Houston, Texas in the United States.

 

EFCC confirmed he had been on a watch list but protected under the immunity clause. The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) assisted in his interception.

 

By Friday morning, the anti-graft agency moved Obiano to Abuja, the capital of Nigeria.

 

It was gathered that the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) chieftain is in trouble for alleged funds diversion.

 

Specifically, Obiano is accused of “pocketing” allocations meant for Local Government Councils (LGCs) in Anambra.

 

The two-term ex-helmsman is also indicted for alleged purchase of properties in “Lagos, Abuja and outside the country”.

 

“Of course, these acquisitions were done through proxies and associates that would be revealed in due course.

 

“The EFCC had sent operatives to Lagos and Abuja airports 24 hours before Obiano handed over to Soludo”, a source said.

 

EFCC Head of Media, Wilson Uwujaren explained that he could not provide any information for now.

 

“I can’t go into details at the moment until we conclude our investigation”, he said.

 

It is not a secret that some state governors abuse the system. They seize control of the funds and give local government chairmen whatever amount they please.

 

The Federal Government has been advocating an end to the controversial State/Local Government Joint Accounts (SLGJA).

 

At a 2019 summit in Abuja, Boss Mustapha, Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), condemned the relegation of LGCs.

 

“We certainly cannot live with the continued mismanagement of public funds (joint accounts) any longer.

 

“Most of us know the dangers and consequences of this sustained degradation of our local government system, which manifest in an increased wave of crimes and social maladies”, Mustapha said.

 

The SGF listed human trafficking, baby factories, terrorism, kidnapping, cultism, neighbourhood gangs, an influx of youths to urban centres, rural poverty, dilapidated primary schools and primary health facilities.

 

But the good news is that the scrap of the SLGJA was endorsed by the Senate and House of Representatives during the 1999 Constitution Review.

 

The matter now lies with the 36 Houses of Assembly. Their approval or otherwise will determine whether LGCs will have to continue to beg governors for funds to finance their responsibilities.

 

The requirement is for two-thirds of State Assemblies to toe the path of the National Assembly. If 24 Houses pass the proposed amendment, it would be goodbye to State/LG Joint Accounts in Nigeria. 

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