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Anambra govt kicks as EFCC places Obiano on watch list


1min read

THE Anambra State Government has hit out at the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) after the anti-corruption agency placed governor Willie Obiano on a watch list.

In a letter to the Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), dated November 15, the EFCC had asked that Obiano be placed on a watch list.

The EFCC also asked the immigration service to inform it anytime the governor is travelling out of the country.

Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment Don Adinuba in a statement released on Thursday said the EFCC was subjecting the governor to a media trial.

Describing the decision to place Obiano on a watch list as politically motivated, Adinuba also faulted the EFCC for insinuating that the governor plans to flee the country when he leaves office.

“The EFCC sounded more inelegant when it claimed in the sponsored press report that it received intelligence reports that the governor plans to ‘flee’ from Nigeria once he hands over power next March 17 to the newly elected Anambra State governor Professor Charles Chukwuma Soludo.

“Governor Obiano is out of the country currently. He travelled through one of the country’s international airports. He did not disguise himself, but rather left the country with his identity fully disclosed at the necessary immigration point,” Adinuba said.

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He also noted that the governor had been open about his intentions to relocate abroad when he leaves office.

“Chief Obiano has never left any persons in doubt that he will relocate to his base in the United States once he finishes his tenure.”

The commissioner alleged that the EFCC was being used by some unnamed politicians.

“It is, indeed, strange that the EFCC is making a show that it is investigating a high public officer. Anti-corruption agencies, like intelligence services, conduct their investigations discreetly and not on pages of newspapers. Media trial has never benefitted the EFCC.

“The EFCC should not allow itself to be used by politicians who are mere birds of passage. Its ongoing Anambra drama is in bad taste,” Adinuba added.

Stressing that the EFCC had not invited the governor to respond to any questions, Adinuba said Obiano was open to providing clarity on any allegations levelled against him.

The decision to place Obiano on a watch list is coming a few months after the All Progressives Congress (APC) called on the EFCC to probe the spending of local government funds under his administration.

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