The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is preparing to prosecute the immediate-past governor of Anambra State, Chief Willie Maduabuchi Obiano, before Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court in Abuja.
Obiano faces charges of alleged money laundering involving a staggering sum of N4,008,573,350.
The former governor is expected to face nine counts of money laundering linked to the purported movement of N4,008,573,350 from security votes into various accounts. The charges allege that the funds were returned to Obiano in cash after currency conversion into dollars.
This development follows the recent commitment by EFCC Chairman Ola Olukoyede to revisit dormant high-profile cases, particularly those involving former governors and ministers.
The EFCC’s lead counsel, Slyvanus Tahir, SAN, and eight other lawyers will spearhead the trial.
Among the charges, Obiano faces allegations of indirectly transferring funds from the Anambra State Government’s Security Vote Account into various unrelated accounts. These transactions between 2018 and 2019 form the basis of the charges under the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act of 2011.
Another charge asserts that Obiano, between 2017 and 2020, indirectly transferred substantial funds from the Anambra State Government Security Vote Account into an account belonging to Easy Diamond Integrated Link, an entity seemingly unrelated to the state government.
Obiano’s arrest in March 2022 at the Murtala Muhammad International Airport in Lagos marked a significant development in the EFCC’s efforts to address allegations of misappropriation of public funds.
The former governor was apprehended as he prepared to board a flight to the United States, and his loss of immunity after leaving office paved the way for the EFCC to act on longstanding concerns and accusations of corruption.
Obiano is expected to be arraigned on January 24, according to EFCC sources.