Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State says he will relocate to his base in the Unites States after his tenure.
Obiano is billed to hand over power to Professor Chukwuma Soludo on March 17, 2021.
However, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has placed him under its watchlist.
In a letter to the Nigeria Immigration Service, the anti-graft agency demanded that Obiano’s movement should be monitored.
In the letter addressed to the Comptroller General of Immigration, the EFCC requested to be informed anytime Obiano is travelling out of the country from any of the international airports, as well as other points of entry and exit.
But reacting on behalf of the governor, Anambra State Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, Don Adinuba, accused the EFCC of acting a script.
He said Obiano has four months left to remain in office and the commission went to far by publicly announcing that it is investigating him.
Adinuba said the governor has made it public that he would relocate to his US base at the end of his tenure.
“Nigerians were dismayed that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) went a new low on Wednesday, November 24, 2021, when it sponsored media reports claiming that it has placed Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State on its watch list. The EFCC provided no details of how Governor Obiano has been placed on its watch list, but made a reference to a letter it purportedly wrote on November 15, 2021, to the Comptroller General of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) asking it to inform the anti-graft agency anytime the governor is travelling out of the country.”
“Everything that can be wrong with politically motivated statements like this one is obviously wrong with this statement. The EFCC knows full well that it is acting inelegantly in this instance, and so has tried as much as possible not to make an official public statement on the alleged placing of Chief Obiano on the watch list. It furtively gave a section of the media the news report it wrote based on ostensibly its letter to the NIS on November 15.
“Governor Obiano is out of the country currently. And 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.
“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. 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.
“As early as Wednesday, March 4, 2020, he announced his decision to a meeting of the Anambra State Council of Elders, comprising such personages as the erstwhile Secretary General of the Commonwealth, Chief Emeka Anyaoku; the Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Nnaemeka Alfred Achebe who is also the chairman of both the Anambra State Council of Traditional Rulers and the Southeast Council of Traditional Rulers; a former Anambra State governor, Dr Chukwuemeka Ezeife; an ex-Minister of Women Affairs, Iyom Josephine Anenih, mni; the founding Director General of the National Orientation Agency (NOA), Professor Elochukwu Amucheazi; the Archbishop Emeritus of the Anglican Church in Anambra State, The Most Reverend Dr Maxwell Anikwenwa; and the Catholic Bishop of the Awka Diocese, Rev Dr Paulinus Ezeokafor.
“Governor Obiano has a whole four months to remain in office as the Anambra State chief executive. Nobody in Nigeria can circumscribe his constitutionally conferred immunity which shields him from both criminal and civil prosecution. The EFCC went too far to announce in November that it is observing him. We are not aware of any state governor who had up to four months to be in office and the EFCC went on to sponsor media reports that he was being investigated.”