• Crime
  • Updated: April 18, 2024

N4bn Fraud: Obiano to face trial as court refuses to drop charges

N4bn Fraud: Obiano to face trial as court refuses to drop ch

Willie Obiano, former governor of Anambra State, has had his appeal to challenge the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission's jurisdiction to prosecute him denied by a Federal High Court in Abuja.

Obiano, who was arrested on January 24, is on trial for nine charges related to suspected N4 billion stealing.

However, in a preliminary objection made by the defendant through his counsel, Onyechi Ikpeazu, SAN, Obiano claimed the EFCC lacked the authority to prosecute him.

He also asked the court to dismiss the current allegations against him, characterising them as an abuse of judicial procedure.

Obiano noted that no prima facie case has been brought against him.

Justice Inyang Ekwo ruled on the motion on Thursday, saying it lacked substance and therefore be dismissed.

Allnews.ng had previously reported that Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court in Abuja granted bail to Willie Obiano, the immediate former governor of Anambra State.

He directed that the previous governor be limited to judicial jurisdiction and also instructed the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to lodge the defendant's travel documentation with the court registrar. 

Ekwo then told the registrar to notify the Nigerian Immigration Service about the development. 

The prosecution attorney, Slyvanus Tahir, SAN, had asked the court to remand the former governor. However, the case was adjourned till March 4, 5, 6, and 7 for the continuation of the trial.

The latest development comes after Obiano arrived at the courtroom on Wednesday for arraignment to face trial for a nine-count allegation of alleged N4 billion fraud levied against him by the Federal Government through the EFCC. 

In the same vein, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) denied reports that the past first lady of Anambra State, Ebere Obiano, is in its custody.

It was widely reported that the former First Lady was apprehended by the commission on Thursday.

Speaking on the news, Wilson Uwujaren, EFCC’s spokesman denied the report, saying that she is not in the commission's custody.

Willie Obiano was arrested about a month ago at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, after handing over to his successor, Soludo.

Eberechukwu Obiano recently declared her interest in contesting in the 2023 elections, representing Anambra North District at the Senate under the umbrella of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).

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