The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday moved ex-Governor Willy Obiano from Lagos to Abuja for quizzing over alleged N42 billion fraud.
Obiano was arrested at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Ikeja on Thursday night a few hours after he handed over power to Prof. Charles Soludo in Awka, and subsequently lost his immunity from arrest.
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The former governor was said to be on his way to the United States where he was residing before his election eight years ago. He is alleged to have mismanaged his security vote while in office. Some of the funds were allegedly diverted to political activities.
It was learnt that Obiano was moved to Abuja because the desk handling his case in the last two years is at the EFCC’s headquarters.
A top source, who spoke in confidence, said: “Willie Obiano was arrested for alleged misappropriation of public funds, including N5bn Sure-P and N37 billion security vote which was withdrawn in cash.”
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“Part of the funds was also allegedly diverted to finance political activities in the state. Our detectives have been grilling him on these allegations. We will keep you updated. ”
The Head of Media and Publicity of EFCC, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, said: “Yes, the ex-governor is now with our team in Abuja.
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“It is too early to talk about ongoing investigation.”
The EFCC had placed Obiano on its watch list in November 2021.
The anti-graft agency, in a November 15, 2021 letter to the Comptroller General of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), had requested him to keep watch on Obiano and inform it anytime he tried to travel out of the country from any of the international airports and other points of entry and exit.
The agency did not say why it took the action, but sources said it has in its possession some petitions against Obiano on his management of the financial resources of Anambra State during his tenure.
One of the petitions written by some citizens of the state raised questions over the spending of the N17 billion Paris Club refund to the state and security vote.
Some other petitioners alleged mismanagement of the huge sums of money left in the state’s coffers by Obiano’s immediate predecessor, Peter Obi.
The EFCC had previously questioned some commissioners and principal officers over the alleged mismanagement of the state funds.
Obiano’s Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, Mr. C-Don Adinuba, had dismissed the EFCC letter placing the then governor on watch list as inelegant “when it claimed in the sponsored press report that it received intelligence reports that the governor plans to ‘flee’ from Nigeria once he hands over power next March 17 to the newly elected Anambra State governor, Professor Charles Chukwuma Soludo.”
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