The All Progressives Congress, APC in Anambra State on Monday urged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to speedily investigate former Governor Willie Obiano, on the questioned areas of financial dealings, recover monies for Anambra State where applicable and prosecute offenders where they exist.
Obiano, who was arrested over the weekend while trying to leave the country, but has allegedly been granted bail today.
Speaking to TNC correspondent in Awka, the Anambra APC through its spokesperson, Okelo Madukaife said it is shocked that despite the fact that Obiano knew he had been on EFCC watch-list since October last year, he tried to leave the country without clearing all the issues.
According to the party, the development is even more absurd given that neither Obiano nor his new successor has said anything about what was handed over and what has been taken over, financially.
“Following the shocking interception, arrest and subsequent detention of the immediate past governor of Anambra State, Chief Willie Obiano at Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, while traveling to the Houston, Texas, United State of America on the same day he handed over power, we urge EFCC not to detain him for longer than necessary.
“We have expressed shock because, although Obiano spent nearly half of his tenure in his private home in this offshore location, he had prior knowledge that there were issues to clear with EFCC, having had prior information on the matter for months.
“So his attempt to flee the country the same day his successor took over, without addressing these issues can, in our view be faulted.
“Considered alongside the fact that neither the governor of Anambra State from March 17, 2014 to March 16, 2022, nor his new successor has said anything about what is being handed over and what has been taken over, financially, we are keeping an open mind on events of the last few days.
“However, since the financial crime agency set off the alarm late last year, it means there has been enough time to put facts, figures and the law together,” the party said.
The Anambra APC appealed to EFCC to conduct a timely investigation on the questioned areas of financial dealings, recover monies for Anambra State where applicable and/or prosecute offenders where they exist, without any delay, which may fuel speculation and detract from concrete issues of Anambra State financial leakages.
It also faulted the State legislature for failing in its responsibility to apply the principles of checks and balances to keep the executive on its toes.
It said; “Facts emerging so far point to a painful indictment of failure on the part of Anambra State House of Assembly in the area of checks and balances on the outgone executive arm of the state government.
“In fact, no one in that legislative house should be re-elected, so as to give the state a new opportunity to rediscover the functions of the legislature.”
The party pleaded with the EFCC that while in custody, all courtesies be extended to the governor and attention should be paid to his health and allowable needs, as an elder statesman of Anambra State, who is legally presumed innocent until otherwise proven.
The APC advised people of Anambra State to appreciate that until the State can boast of legislative checks, irrespective of political affiliation, the EFCC and ancilliary agencies hold the ace to curbing, if not stopping the financial hemorrhage bedeviling the state.
“All who mean well for Anambra State should allow due process play out, closing their ears to sentimental comments and tantrums particularly from beneficiaries of the perforated system and stakeholders who could have advised better.
“It is our considered advice that Anambra State citizens and institutions, should at this point rely only on official information from EFCC,” the party urged.