The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has placed the outgoing governor, Chief Willie Obiano, on a watch list, just 18 days after the governorship election in Anambra State, where the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) candidate, Prof Charles Soludo, emerged governor-elect.
This comes ahead of the inauguration of a new government in Anambra State on March 16, 2022, when Obiano is set to over the baton to his successor.
The EFCC demanded that the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) place the governor on a watch list and notify it whenever he travels out of the country from any of the international airports and other points of entrance and exit in a letter dated November 15, 2021.
While in office, Nigerian governors are immune from criminal prosecution.
Although an EFCC spokeswoman declined to comment on the matter, Best News Network learned that the governor would be questioned about fund misappropriation while in office.
While the reason for the governor’s placement on the watch list is unknown, sources say the decision indicates that the anti-graft agency has been quietly probing him and may have intelligence that he plans to flee after handing over authority to his successor, Prof Soludo.
The Anambra State government, on the other hand, dismissed claims that the state governor had been placed on the EFCC’s watch list Friday night.
Don Adinuba, the state commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, stated that the governor has around four months until he is constitutionally required to take up power on March 17, 2022, and that he is still entitled to immunity as a serving governor as stipulated by the constitution.
Governor Obiano, according to Adinuba, who left the nation roughly 12 days ago, went through the Nigerian Immigration Service process without any problems.
The commissioner said, “I seriously doubt the credibility of that report. The governor has been out of the country since the past 12 days, and he passed through the Immigration Service checks without having any problem.
“Again, Governor Obiano, a sitting governor, has immunity and he still has up to four months from now till March 17 next year when he will hand over as Governor of Anambra State. And it is not a normal practice that a sitting governor will be put on a watch list by the EFCC while still in office.
“So, I doubt the credibility of that report. That is all I can say for now because as I speak to you, I am driving, and it is already night. I can’t even write anything now because I am driving”.