N4bn Fraud: Obiano challenges court’s jurisdiction

A former Governor of Anambra Willie Obiano is challenging the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court, Abuja, to hear the alleged fraud against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

The EFCC had on January 24 arraigned the former governor on nine charges bordering on alleged money laundering to the tune of N4bn.

At the day’s proceedings, counsel for the EFCC Sylvanus Tahir told the court he was ready for the commencement of trial and had three witnesses to present in court.

But counsel for the defendant Onyechi Ikpeazu told the court that he had filed a motion challenging the jurisdiction of the court to hear the matter.

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

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In the charges by the EFCC, they alleged that Obiano diverted Anambra State’s security votes to the tune of N4,008,573,350 while he was in the saddle as governor between 2014 and 2022.

The EFCC accused him of indirectly transferring, through his Private Principal Secretary, N1.2bn from the state security vote account to another account belonging to Moment of Peace Ventures, an entity with no business with the state.

Obiano, however, pleaded not guilty to all the counts.

Justice Inyang Ekwo adjourned the matter to March 7, 2024, for a hearing of the motion.

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