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I Can’t Face Trial In Abuja For Crimes Allegedly Committed In Anambra – Former Governor Obiano Tells Court

Obiano in court 2

Willie Maduabuchi Obiano, the immediate past Governor of Anambra State, said in a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja on Monday, that he could not be prosecuted in Abuja for fraud crimes he allegedly committed in Anambra State.

ugamatv reported in March 17, 2022 that former Governor Obiano was arrested at the Murtala Muhammad International Airport, Lagos, as he was preparing to board a flight to Houston, the United States of America.

EFCC had announced that his arrest took place at about 8.30pm, noting that he had been on EFCC’s watch list for some time over corruption allegations.

ugamatv had reported that EFCC arraigned Obiano before Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court in Abuja on nine counts, bordering on “stealing and corruption.”

The anti-graft agency accused the former governor of allegedly stealing N4,008,573,350 from security vote.

Although, Justice Ekwo granted him bail, he ordered that Obiano should be restricted to the court jurisdiction.

ugamatv also reported that the trial judge also ordered the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to deposit the defendant’s travel documents with the court registrar.

Ekwo then ordered the registrar to notify the Nigerian Immigration Service of the development.

A charge filed at the Federal High Court, Abuja, showed that the EFCC would be prosecuting the former governor on nine-count charges bordering on illegal withdrawal of security vote and money laundering.

However, Obiano in Court on Monday through his lawyer, Dr Onyechi Ikpeazu SAN, asked the court to decline jurisdiction to try the fraud charges and to direct the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to shift the prosecution of the criminal matter to the appropriate place in Anambra.

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Obiano insisted that the appropriate place to determine the money laundering charges instituted against him must be considered and resolved before any trial could commence.

At the Monday’s proceedings, EFCC lawyer, Sylvanus Tahir told the court that he had three witnesses to present against the governor for the trial.

But Ikpeazu Onyechi told the judge that he filed a motion challenging the jurisdiction of the court to conduct the trial in Abuja by the EFCC.

He asked the court to exercise its discretion to determine his motion first before the commencement of any trial.

The EFCC lawyer, Tahir confirmed to the court that the defendant served him with the said motion on notice.

“This is a blatant waste of time, “Tahir contended but Justice Inyang Edem Ekwo interjected and asked him to allow the court to decide the motion on its merit.

Subsequently, lawyers agreed to return to court on Thursday and exchange processes relating to the motion on notice.

Justice Ekwo thereafter adjourned the matter to March 7 for a motion of notice to be determined.

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