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Obiano challenges EFCC, Insists crimes allegedly committed in Anambra state not prosecutable in Abuja

Willie Obiano, former governor of Anambra State

By Chidi-Ebere Moneme (South East Nigeria).

A Former Anambra State governor, Dr Willie Maduabuchi Obiano has urged a Federal high court in Abuja to reject jurisdiction over the fraud charges levelled against him, insisting that the alleged crimes occured in Anambra state.

Through his lawyer, Dr Onyedi Ikpeazu SAN, Obiano emphasized the need for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to transfer the prosecution to the appropriate jurisdiction in Anambra state.

Facing charges of embezzling N40 billion naira in state funds during his two terms in office, Obiano filled a motion challenging the court”s jurisdiction during the proceedings.

EFCC lawyer, Sylvanus Tahir revealed three witnesses for the trial but Ikpeazu insisted on resolving the jurisdiction matter before proceeding. Ikpeazu argued for the court’s discretion to prioritise his motion, prompting Tahir to label it “blatant waste of time”.

However, Justice Inyang Edem Ekwa intervened, emphasizing the court’s role in deciding the motion on its merit.

The lawyers agreed to return on thursday 7th March 2024 to exchange documents related to the motion on notice.

The charges against Obiano includes, allegation of indirectly transferring #26, 258, 585, 00 from the Anambra state government security vote account to Easy Diamond integrated links account.

The funds were allegedly misappropriated for purposes unrelatted to Anambra state’s security affairs, constituting offences punishable under the money laundering (Prohibittion) Act 201.

The court adjourned matter to March 7 to determine the motion on notice.

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