In a fresh motion, the immediate past Governor of Anambra State, Willie Maduabuchi Obiano has asked the Federal High Court in Abuja to quash the N40bn corruption charges brought against him by the federal government.

His request is contained in a new 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.

He 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 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 the criminal justice system.

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.

“No prima facie case has been disclosed against the defendant in this charge. There is no link between the proof of evidence and the purported allegation made against the defendant in the charge

“No evidence exists from any witness showing that the defendant passed down a directive for the disbursement of security votes and other funds belonging to Anambra State government.

“The defendant cannot be made answerable for any purported unlawful actions of officials of Anambra State government as there is no vicarious liability in our criminal jurisprudence.

“The thinking and conclusion of the prosecution on the counts arose from speculation and suspicions

“The subject matter of the charge borders on accountability for security vote funds.
The honourable court lacks the requisite jurisdiction to entertain issues on accountability for security vote funds

“There is an appeal filed by the Anambra state government challenging the powers of EFCC to investigate the security vote of Anambra state government.

“The preferment of the entire charge is in bad faith. This honourable court has inherent judicial power to grant all the reliefs sought above.

Meanwhile, the trial Judge has fixed March 13 for all pending motions to be heard.

Ex-Anambra Gov, Obiano asks court to quash N40bn fraud charges against him

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