Obiano Refuses Abuja Trial, Cites Jurisdictional Reasons

Former Anambra State Governor, Willie Maduabuchi Obiano, is facing serious charges of corruption and theft amounting to N4,008,573,350 in a Federal High Court in Abuja.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) arrested him at the Murtala Muhammad International Airport in Lagos as he was attempting to board a flight to the United States.

This arrest came after Obiano had been on the EFCC’s watchlist due to allegations of corruption.

Obiano was arraigned on nine counts of stealing and corruption, which included accusations of illegal withdrawal of security vote and money laundering.

During the court proceedings, his lawyer, Dr. Onyechi Ikpeazu SAN, argued for the trial to be moved to Anambra State, citing jurisdictional concerns.

The EFCC lawyer, Sylvanus Tahir, revealed that three witnesses were prepared for trial but faced opposition from Ikpeazu, who insisted on addressing the jurisdictional issue first.

Justice Inyang Edem Ekwo intervened, directing the court to consider Ikpeazu’s motion challenging the trial’s jurisdiction before proceeding.

The trial has been marked by legal maneuvering over jurisdiction, with the next session scheduled for March 7 to decide on the motion challenging the trial’s venue.

Obiano’s defense is emphasizing the importance of resolving jurisdictional matters before proceeding with the trial in Abuja.


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