A Federal High Court in Abuja has granted bail to the immediate past governor of Anambra State, Willie Obiano.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission arraigned Obiano on Wednesday for allegedly laundering state funds to the tune of N4,008,573,350.
Obiano was alleged to have moved the amount from security votes into different accounts.
According to the EFCC, the alleged offences were committed between March 2014 and March 2022.
One of the counts read, “That you, Chief Willie Maduabuchi Obiano, whilst being the executive governor of Anambra State of Nigeria between March 2014 – March 2022, sometime between 7th February, 2018 to 18th February, 2019 in Abuja, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, indirectly transferred through Mr Willie Nwokoye, your then principal private secretary, the sum of N156,800.00 only from the Anambra State Government Security Vote Account into an belonging to C.I. Patty Ventures Nigeria Limited (an entity that had no business relationship with the Anambra State Government), which funds were dissipated for purposes unrelated / unconnected with the security affairs of Anambra State, which you reasonably ought to have known that such funds formed part of the proceeds of your unlawful act, to wit: (Stealing and Corruption) and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 15 (2) (b) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 (as amended) in 2012 and punishable under Section 15 (3) of the same Act.”
Obiano pleaded not guilty to the nine-count charges.
In granting him bail, Justice Inyang Ekwo ordered that the former governor should be restricted to the court’s jurisdiction.
He ordered the EFCC 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.
He subsequently adjourned the case till March 4, 5, 6 and 7 for continuation of trial.