EFCC: Anambra's Appeal Against Obiano N4bn Theft Trial Irrelevant

The immediate past governor of Anambra State, Willie Maduabuchi Obiano
The immediate past governor of Anambra State, Willie Maduabuchi ObianoX (Formally Twitter)

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has stated that Anambra State Government was not a defendant in the trial of former governor Willie Obiano, emphasizing that the government's appeal on the matter holds no significance.

In a motion dated March 3, Obiano revealed that the Anambra state government has filed an appeal contesting the EFCC's authority to investigate and prosecute him.

The motion includes a statement that the Anambra State Government has filed an appeal questioning the EFCC's jurisdiction to probe the security vote of the Anambra State Government.

The ex-Anambra governor also requested the court to drop the charges against him, emphasizing that the court did not have the appropriate jurisdiction to address matters concerning accountability for security votes funds.

On January 24, Obiano was arraigned and is now facing trial on nine count charges concerning an alleged N4bn theft.

The EFCC stated in its counter-affidavit to Obaino’s supporting affidavit for his motion on notice that the referenced appeal is not related to the charges against Obiano.

The anti-corruption agency further mentioned that the charges and evidence presented against him establish a prima facie case against Obaino.

The Counter-affidavit submitted by Habu Fari included the statement, “The charge and proofs of evidence indicate a prima facie case linking the Defendant to the allegations in the Charge, contradicting paragraphs 5 (v) and (vi) of the Defendant’s affidavit."

“That the deposition contained in paragraph 5 (xi) of the affidavit in support of Motion, Anambra State Government is not a Defendant in the instant proceedings and the Defendant is not Anambra State. The appeal alluded to have no bearing or relationship with the Instant Charge. ”

The EFCC also emphasized that the charges against Obiano were not connected to witch-hunting.

During the proceedings on Wednesday, the defendant's counsel, Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN), adopted his processes and urged the court to grant his client’s prayers.

The EFCC's counsel, Sylvanus Tahir, urged the court to dismiss the defendant's application, arguing that security votes could be probed when misappropriated.

The trial judge, Justice Inyang Ekwo, adjourned the case until April 18, 2024, to rule on Obaino’s application.

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