Willie Obiano Loses Bid To Stop Trial In N40bn Fraud Charges

Willie Obiano Loses Bid To Stop Trial In N40bn Fraud Charges

by Victor Ndubuisi

Former Anambra State Governor Obiano Willie Maduabuchi’s motion to vacate the N40 billion money laundering charges levied against him by the Federal Government was denied by Justice Inyang Edem Ekwo of the Federal High Court in Abuja.

In a decision issued on Thursday, the judge criticised and dismissed every argument Obiano used to support his motion.

Among other things, the former governor had asked the judge to drop the nine counts that the Federal Government’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had brought against him.

He argued that the charges against him had nothing to do with the evidence that the EFCC had provided to the court.



According to his allegations, no witness had testified that he gave orders for the distribution of security votes and other Anambra State Government funds.

Additionally, Obiano said that because the criminal justice system does not recognise the notion of vicarious liability, he could not be held responsible for any suspected illegal activities by Anambra State Government officials.

In accordance with Sections 6(6)(a) and (b), as well as Section 36(6)(b) of the 1999 Constitution as amended, as well as Sections 1(1) and (2), 266, 271(b), 383(4), and 492 (3) of the Administration of the Criminal Justice Act 2015, he filed his notice motion.

A court order to quash the instant indictment since it amounts to a flagrant abuse of the legal system and a mockery of the criminal justice system was among the requests made by Obiano.

“An order quashing the charge for non-disclosure of a prime facie case being vague and devoid of precision in respect of all the 9 count charges.

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“No prima facie case has been disclosed against the defendant in this charge. There is no link between the proof of evidence and the purported allegation made against the defendant in the charge


“No evidence exists from any witness showing that the defendant passed down a directive for the disbursement of security votes and other funds belonging to Anambra State government.

“The defendant cannot be made answerable for any purported unlawful actions of officials of Anambra State government as there is no vicarious liability in our criminal jurisprudence.

“The thinking and conclusion of the prosecution on the counts arose from speculation and suspicions.


“The subject matter of the charge borders on accountability for security vote funds.

The honourable court lacks the necessary authority to consider matters pertaining to accountability for funds allocated through security votes.

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“There is an appeal filed by the Anambra state government challenging the powers of EFCC to investigate the security vote of Anambra state government.

“The preferment of the entire charge is in bad faith. This honourable court has inherent judicial power to grant all the reliefs sought above.”

However, Justice Ekwo ruled that because Obiano’s requests for relief are unwarranted and unjustified, none of them may be granted.

The judge stated that unless the trial is carried out in accordance with the law, there is no way the court could determine whether or not the former governor is connected to the alleged violations.

The EFCC is pursuing nine counts against the former governor that involve allegations of money laundering totaling N40 billion.


The complete trial of the charges has been scheduled for June 24, 25, 26, and 27 by the judge.

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In a similar spirit, Obiano was given 60 days by Judge Ekwo to travel overseas for medical care.

Obiano was forced to sign a document promising to return to the nation following his medical care and to deposit his travel passport within three days of arriving back in Nigeria, per the judge’s ruling.



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