Former Anambra State Governor Willie Obiano Accused of Diverting N4 Billion in Security Votes


In the trial of former Anambra State Governor Willie Obiano, two prosecution witnesses, Tochukwu Aloysius Nnadi and Mrs. Chinwe Patricia Ebunam, testified before Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court in Abuja, alleging the diversion of N4 billion in security votes to private companies.

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During the resumed trial on Tuesday, Nnadi, a bank manager in Awka, Anambra State, revealed that documents from his bank indicated funds from the state’s security votes account were transferred to various private entities, including Easy Diamond Integrated Links, C.I Patty Ventures Nigeria Limited, and Xpressive Consult Nig. Limited, among others, during Obiano’s tenure as governor. These transactions suggest potential misuse of public funds.

Led in evidence by the prosecution counsel of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Sylvanus Tahir (SAN), Nnadi stated that the Anambra State Government under Obiano had several accounts with the bank, including the Statutory Revenue Account, Value Added Account, Consolidated Internal Generated Revenue Account, and Security Votes Account, among others.

“The mandate of the Security Votes Account was operated by the then Principal Secretary to the governor, Mr. Willie Nwokoye, and the Accountant at the government house, Theophilus Meize. The accounts are funded weekly from various accounts, especially the Consolidated Internal Revenue Account,” Nnadi testified. He provided various documents to the Commission, including statements of account, certified true copies, certificates of identification, and account opening packages, which were accepted as evidence by the court.

The second prosecution witness, Chinwe Patricia Ebunam, an Onitsha-based businesswoman, testified that she received a mysterious payment of N156,800,000 (One Hundred and Fifty-Six Million, Eight Hundred Thousand Naira) in 2022 from the Anambra State Government’s account, despite not having executed any contracts for the government. This payment was made without any clear justification or explanation.

Ebunam recounted, “Sometime around 20th May 2022, I received a call from EFCC regarding my company, C.I Patty Ventures, about some money that passed through my account. I told them I didn’t know anything about the money. I called my bank account officer, Ugochukwu Otibere, to upgrade my account or post money into my account to meet embassy requirements for travel. He promised to upgrade the account. I don’t know anything about the N156.8 million that passed through my account from the Anambra State Government.”

Former Governor Obiano is currently on trial, facing a nine-count charge of embezzlement and money laundering totaling N4 billion, brought by the EFCC. The prosecution is presenting evidence to support the charges. The next court date is set for June 26, 2024.

By Naija247news
By Naija247news
Naija247news is an investigative news platform that tracks news on Nigerian Economy, Business, Politics, Financial and Africa and Global Economy.

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