Anambra State government has described the announcement of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) that it has placed Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State on its watch list as politically motivated.
The state government said in its reaction that the EFCC knows full well that it is acting inelegantly and alleged the anti-graft agency furtively gave a section of the media the news report it wrote based its letter to the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) on November 15, 2021.
The anti-graft agency had earlier written a letter to the Comptroller General of the NIS requesting the immigration to place Governor Obiano on a watch list and inform it anytime he is travelling out of the country from any of the international airports, as well as other points of entry and exit.
In reaction to this, Anambra State Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, Don Adinuba said the governor has four months left to remain in office and the commission went too far by publicly announcing that it is investigating Governor Obiano.
Adinbua, in a statement, said Governor Obiano is out of the country currently and he travelled through one of the country’s international airports. He noted that the governor did not disguise himself, but rather left the country with his identity fully disclosed at the necessary immigration point.
“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,” Adinuba said.
Adinbua said Governor Obiano has never left any persons in doubt that he will relocate to his base in the United States once he finishes his tenure. He explained that as early as Wednesday, March 4, 2020, Obiano announced his decision to a meeting of the Anambra State Council of Elders, comprising such personalities 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.
Also on the council includes 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.
Adinbua added that the EFCC should not allow itself to be used by politicians who are mere birds of passage