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Ex Anambra state gov, Obiano accused by EFCC of evading court process

Willie Obiano, a former governor of Anambra State, is being accused by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission of avoiding court process service.

During Thursday’s sessions, Sylvanus Tahir, the commission’s attorney, revealed this to the court.

The former governor was charged by the EFCC on January 24 on nine counts related to suspected N4 billion money laundering.

The EFCC charged Obiano with misappropriating N4,008,573,350 in security votes from Anambra State during his tenure as governor from 2014 to 2022.

The prosecution’s attorney claimed that there has been no progress in serving the defendant’s response to his motion.

Anambra



“We filed a counter affidavit to oppose Obiano’s bid to challenge the territorial jurisdiction of the court to prosecute him in compliance with the order of the court made on Monday, but our efforts have been to no avail,” he stated.
Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN), the attorney for Obaino, was where Tahir’s team was on Wednesday, but the office gate was locked.
When he called two of the defendant’s attorneys, he claimed to have been informed that they were present at a Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal.

He claimed that, as a result, he could only serve the defendant’s counter-affidavit on Thursday in the courtroom.

He requested that the court consider the previous governor’s application and counteraffidavit contesting the court’s geographical authority.

But Patrick Ikweto (SAN), who represented Obiano throughout the proceedings on Thursday, informed the court that he had received the counter-affidavit in person.

In order to answer the EFCC’s counter-affidavit, he begged for an adjournment.

Following that, Judge Inyang Ekwo postponed the case until March 13 in order to hear Obiano’s motion.

Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN), the former governor’s attorney, did, however, notify the court in a March 3 motion on notice of an appeal filed by the Anambra State Government contesting the EFCC’s jurisdiction to look into the monies.

Ikpeazu stated: “The charge concerns accountability for security vote funds; the honorable court does not have the necessary jurisdiction to consider matters pertaining to accountability for security vote monies;

The Anambra State Government has filed an appeal contesting the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission’s authority to look into the Anambra State Government’s security vote.

“The entire charge was preferred in bad faith.”



Ikepazu declared that no witness had testified that he gave orders for the distribution of security votes and other state money owned by the government of Anambra state.

“There is no proof from any witness that the defendant or applicant issued instructions on the distribution of security votes and other Anambra State Government funds,” he declared.

The defendant/applicant cannot be held accountable for any alleged illegal activities of Anambra State Government personnel since our criminal law does not recognize vicarious liability;

“Speculation and suspicion were the basis for the prosecution’s reasoning and decision-making regarding the counts.”

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