EFCC takes Ex-Gov Obiano into custody ahead of arraignment over alleged ₦4bn fraud


Strong indications have emerged that the former governor of Anambra State, Willie Obiano is now in the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, at its headquarters in Abuja.


The action of the anti-graft agency on Obiano is said to be preparatory for the arraignment of the former governor before a Federal High Court on January, 24 in Abuja.


Obiano is to face trial in an alleged over N4bn corruption charges brought against him by the Federal Government through EFCC.


A Senior Advocate of Nigeria SAN, Slyvanus Tahir, has been assigned to lead the prosecution of the former governor on Wednesday morning in Abuja.


EFCC’s spokesperson, Dele Oyewale confirmed the development but declined detailed information.


One of the Registrars of the court where Obiano is to be arraigned confirmed to our correspondent that he had sighted the charge but would not know the date of the arraignment.


Some of the charges against Obiano are, “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.”


Obiano was first arrested at the Murtala Muhammad International Airport, Lagos, on March 17, 2022, as he was preparing to board a flight to Houston, the United States of America.


At the time of this report, a team of senior lawyers has been assembled by family and friends of the former governor for his defence in the charges and to ensure his bail after arraignment.

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