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Ex-Anambra Gov, Obiano asks court to quash N40B fraud charges against him

Ex-Anambra Gov, Obiano asks court to quash N40B fraud charges against him

Immediate past Governor of Anambra State, Willie Maduabuchi Obiano has asked the Federal High Court in Abuja to quash the N40B corruption charges brought against him by the federal government.

His request is contained in a motion on notice filed before Justice Inyang Ekwo and brought pursuant to provisions of the 1999 Constitution and the Administration of the Criminal Justice Act 2015.

In the grounds for the motion, Obiano claimed that there is a subsisting appeal by the Anambra state government challenging the authority of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC's authority to investigate the funds.
In the motion filed by his lead counsel, Onyechi Ikpeazu SAN, Obiano argued that there was no connection between the proof of evidence and the alleged accusation against him.

Galaxy tv reports that Obiano averred that there was no testimony from any witness indicating that he issued directives for the disbursement of security votes and other funds belonging to the Anambra state government.

He emphasised that the he cannot be held accountable for any alleged unlawful actions by officials of the Anambra state government as there is no concept of vicarious liability in criminal justice system.

At Thursday's resumption of trial, Sylvanus Tahir (SAN), counsel for the EFCC, informed the court that he had received the defendant's motion and had responded accordingly with counter affidavit.

However, he said while attempting to serve the defendant's counsel with his response, he found their gate locked but that he managed to deliver the response in the court room.

Responding, Patrick Ekweto (SAN), counsel to Obiano requested time to respond to EFCC'S counter affidavit.

Justice Ekwo in a short ruling, granted the defendant two days to file and serve their process on the EFCC.
The Judge subsequently fixed March 13 for the motion to be heard.

The former governor is being prosecuted by EFCC on 9- count charges bordering on money laundering to the tune of N40 billion.

The anti-graft agency alleged that Obiano bypassed financial institutions in numerous unlawful cash transactions using funds allegedly stolen from the state’s account.

The EFCC claimed that the cash amounts involved in the transactions exceeded legally permitted limits.
The motion on notice was brought pursuant to section 6 (6) (a) and (b) and section 36(6) (6) b of the 1999 constitution as amended and
section 1(1) & (2), 266, 271(b), 383(4) &492 (3) of the Administration of the Criminal Justice Act 2015.

Among others, Obiano is seeking an order of the court quashing the instant charge for it amounts to flagrant abuse of judicial process and a mockery of the criminal Justice

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, among others.

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