Obiano arraigned over N4bn money laundering charge

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arraigned Willie Obiano, the immediate past governor of Anambra state, over allegations of money laundering.

On Wednesday, the former governor appeared before Inyang Ekwo, judge of a federal high court in Abuja.

Obiano pleaded not guilty to the nine-count charge preferred against him by the anti-graft agency.

Upon arraignment, Sylvanus Tahir, EFCC counsel, prayed the court to remand the defendant in custody pending the commencement of trial.

But Onyinyechi Ikpeazu, Obiano’s counsel, asked the court to grant bail to his client.

Ruling on the applications, Ekwo held that the defendant should enjoy bail on the administrative terms granted earlier by the EFCC.

He added that the defendant’s international passport should be transmitted to the court within 10 days.

The judge also directed the court registrar to inform the immigration service about the passport when it is transferred.

The case was subsequently adjourned to March 4 for the commencement of trial.

In September 2021, the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Anambra had asked the anti-graft agency to probe the state’s finances to unearth “monumental deception”.

Basil Ejidike, Anambra APC chairman, had alleged that Obiano was “fraudulently” using the state’s security vote.