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EFCC counters former Governor Obiano’s motion against alleged N4 billion fraud case 



EFCC counters former Governor Obiano’s motion against alleged N4 billion fraud case 
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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has countered the former Governor of Anambra State, Willie Obiano, following his request that the N4 billion security votes-related fraud charges brought against him be quashed.

EFCC’ lawyer, Sylvanus Tahir SAN told Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court, Abuja on Wednesday to refuse the motion of the ex-governor.

Tahir contended that the Economic Governance Section of the EFCC is investigating the affairs of Anambra State under the stewardship of the defendant as governor between 2014 to 2022.

He added that the investigation was not restricted to Security Votes Accounts, contrary to the deposition in the governor’s legal team.

The prosecution stated,  “That in the investigation into the financial affairs of Anambra State Government, the aspect bothering on laundering of funds from Security Vote Account has substantially been done leading to the filing of the instant charge, while other aspect of the investigation dealing with an allegation of stealing, corruption, abuse of office, conspiracy, etc are still underway and nearing completion.”

READ ALSO: EFCC goes after Obiano over alleged N4bn fraud

Obiano through his lawyer, Onyechi Ikpeazu SAN, filed a motion on notice seeking an order of the court squashing the instant charge for amounting to flagrant abuse of judicial process and a mockery of the criminal justice.

He argued in his processes that no evidence showed his client passing down directive for the disbursement of security votes and other funds belonging to Anambra state government.

The lawyer disclosed that there is already an appeal filed by the Anambra state government challenging the powers of the EFCC to investigate the security vote of Anambra state government.

“The defendant/applicant cannot be made answerable for any purported unlawful actions of officials of Anambra state government as there is no vicarious liability in our criminal jurisprudence.

READ ALSO: Obiano’s wife, Ebele, holds on to APGA, gets ticket for Anambra north senatorial district


“The thinking and conclusion of the prosecution on the counts arose from speculation and suspicions. The subject matter of the charge borders on accountability for security vote funds.

“The honorable court lacks the requisite jurisdiction to entertain issues on accountability for security vote funds.”

At the resumed sitting on Wednesday, Tahir confirmed to the court that he responded to the defendant’s motion through a counter affidavit.

He adopted the submissions in his counter affidavit orally and asked the court to dismiss the motion.

On his part, Ikpeazu adopted his motion and urged the court to quash the EFCC’s case against his client.

Responding, Justice Ekwo fixed April 18 for ruling on the governor’s motion, adding if there is change in the scheduled date, the court would inform parties through a hearing notice.

Obiano was placed on the watchlist of the anti-graft agency over allegations of corruption, after the completion of his tenure in 2022. Days later, he was arrested at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport hours later.

On January 24, 2024, the anti-graft agency arraigned him before the court over alleged diversion of public funds, but he pleaded not guilty to the charges.

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