EFCC to arraign Obiano nearly two years after arrest at Lagos airport

Willie Obiano
Willie Obiano

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has confirmed it will arraign the immediate-past governor of Anambra State, Willie Obiano, on January 24 before Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court in Abuja for allegedly laundering N4,008,573,350.

Spokesman of the anti-graft agency Dele Oyewale confirmed the development to PUNCH on Tuesday.

“Yes, we’re arraigning Obiano tomorrow,” he said.

A source quoted by the newspaper said, “We found that Obiano moved N4,008,573,350 from security votes into different accounts. The money at various times was changed into dollars and returned to Obiano by cash.”

Obiano will be arraigned on nine-count charges.

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One of the charges reads, “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.”

The arraignment comes nearly two years after he was arrested at the Murtala Muhammad International Airport in Lagos on March 17, 2022, as he was preparing to board a flight to Houston, Texas, United States.

Obiano had just handed over to Prof Charles Soludo and attempted to leave the country immediately before his arrest.