EFCC Accuses Obiano Of Avoiding Service Of Court Process As Trial For Alleged N40bn Fraud Stalls

Adoga Stephen By Adoga Stephen - Editor-In-Chief
3 Min Read

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) accused former Anambra State governor, Willie Maduabuchi Obiano of evading being served court documents in the N40 billion fraud case against him.

The lead counsel for the EFCC, Sylvanus Tahir, made this accusation during the trial of Obiano for corruption charges.

Tahir told Justice Inyang Edem Ekwo that he had filed a counter affidavit to oppose Obiano’s attempt to challenge the court’s jurisdiction to prosecute him.

The senior lawyer expressed disappointment that they were unable to deliver the counter affidavit to the former governor through his lawyer as ordered by the court on Wednesday.

He explained that they went to Dr. Onyechi Ikpeazu SAN’s office, who is Obiano’s lead counsel, but found the office locked. The lawyer tried to contact two of the defendant’s lawyers but was informed they were at a Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal.

Due to these circumstances, the lawyer could only serve the counter affidavit to the defendant in the courtroom on Thursday. He requested the court to proceed with hearing the former governor’s motion challenging the court’s territorial jurisdiction along with the counter affidavit.

However, Patrick Ikweto SAN, representing Obiano, confirmed receipt of the counter affidavit during Thursday’s proceedings and asked for an adjournment to respond to it. Justice Ekwo granted the request and scheduled March 13 for the hearing of Obiano’s motion on territorial jurisdiction.

Obiano, who served two terms as governor of Anambra State, is facing charges of embezzling state funds totaling N40 billion.

Part of the charge reads, “that Chief Willie Maduabuchi Obiano, whilst being the executive governor of Anambra State 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 into the account 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.”

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By Adoga Stephen Editor-In-Chief
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Stephen studied Mass Communication at the Lagos State Polytechnic, Ikorodu (now Lagos State University of Science and Technology), where he acquired requisite training for the practice of journalism. He loves the media, and his interest mostly lies in print medium, where his creative writing skill makes him a perfect fit.