How Ex-Anambra State Governor, Willie Obiano Allegedly Diverted N4bn Security Votes To Private Companies — Witnesses

Willie Obiano

By AIF Media ( Eneh Victor Chigozie)

The First Prosecution Witness, Tochukwu Aloysius Nnadi and Second Prosecution Witness, Mrs Chinwe Patricia Ebunam in the trial of ex-Anambra State Governor, Willie Obiano on Tuesday, 25, 2024 told Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court, Abuja that funds in the state’s security votes’ account were funneled to multiple private entities under the former governor’s watch.

Nnadi, a bank manager in Awka, Anambra State since June 2011 revealed that documents originating from his bank clearly showed that Easy Diamond Integrated Links, C.I Patty Ventures Nigeria Limited, Xpressive Consult Nig. Limited, among others were beneficiaries of the outflows from the state’s security votes’ account under Obiano.

Led in evidence by prosecution counsel Sylvanus Tahir SAN, the witness stated that the Anambra State Government under Obiano had several accounts with the bank that included: Statutory Revenue Account, Value Added Account, Consolidated Internal Generated Revenue Account, Security Votes Account and others.

According to him, “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 from the Consolidated Internal Revenue account in which payments are usually made weekly based on the advice from the operators of the account to various entities, be it individual or corporate entities which I cannot mention here because the names are many but I recall that I made a statement in the Commission where I listed some of those names there.”

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The witness recalled that he submitted statements of account, certified true copies to the statements of account, certificate of identification and account opening packages to the Commission. The documents marked PW A1 to PW A794 and B1 to B432 were tendered by prosecution counsel and admitted in evidence by the court.

Similarly, the Second Prosecution Witness, PW2, Ebunam, an Onitsha-based businesswoman in her testimony disclosed that the sum of N156,800,000 (One Hundred and Fifty-six Million, Eight Hundred Thousand Naira) was strangely wired to her account in 2022 from Anambra State Government`s Account even as she executed no contract for the government.

According to her, “Sometime around 20th May 2022, I received a call from EFCC that they needed me in their office, regarding my company C.I Patty Ventures, about some money that passed through my account, which I told them I don’t know anything about the money that passed through my account. All I knew was that I called my bank account officer, Ugochukwu Otibere to upgrade my account or post money into my account to enable me to pass the requirements of the embassy so that I can travel. He accepted and collected the details of the company’s account and cheque. He promised me that he will upgrade the account. I don’t know anything about the NI56,800 million that passed through my account from the Anambra State Government.”

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Obiano is facing prosecution by the EFCC on nine-count charges of embezzlement and money laundering to the tune of N4 billion.

Justice Ekwo adjourned the matter to June 26, 2024 for continuation of trial.

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