There is confusion over the arrest of Willie Obiano at the international airport in Lagos on Thursday, March 17
While some media reports say the immediate past governor of Anambra state has been released, others say he is still in detention
An expert also stated that the purported arrest of Obiano was a routine procedure by the EFCC targeted at ex-governors
A report by the New Telegraph newspaper indicates that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has released the immediate past Governor of Anambra State, Willie Obiano. According to the report, the wife of the former governor, Ebelechukwu Obiano was also released by the antigraft agency.
Leadership newspaper also reported that the Obianos were released from detention less than 24 hours after their arrest. The Nigeria Union of Journalists FCT chapter chairman, Emmanuel Ogbeche, also confirmed the news on his Facebook page. Activist says Obiano’s arrest was a routine procedure for EFCC. Human rights activist, Osita Okoli, tweeted that the EFCC arrest was a routine procedure of the anti-graft commission.
“A routine thing by EFCC against every governor that just handed over and wants to travel out! Obiano and his wife were released by EFCC barely 2 hours after they were intercepted at the airport. They missed their flight and will be on their way to Houston following new arrangements.”
A routine thing by EFCC against every Governor that just handed over and wants to travel out! OBIANO & his wife were released by EFCC barely 2 hours after they were intercepted at the airport They missed their flight and will be on their way to Houston following new arrangements
— Osita Okoli (@okoliosita1) March 18, 2022
How court order failed to stop Obiano’s arrest
Meanwhile, The Cable newspaper reports that Obiano tried to use a court order to stop his arrest at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos on Thursday, March 18. While he was going through immigration formalities, officials of the Department of State Services (DSS) were said to have informed him that there was an instruction to stop, arrest and hand him over to the EFCC.
Obiano reportedly reached for his bag and produced a court order stopping the EFCC from arresting him, but the DSS officials were said to have advised Obiano to present the order to the anti-graft agency instead.
The secret police immediately informed EFCC officials who were on hand to take him into custody.
EFCC says Obiano is still in its custody
EFCC spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren, however, told The Punch newspaper that Obiano is still in its custody.
He, however, did not state how long the anti-graft agency would detain the All Progressives Grand Alliance chieftain.
Uwujaren did not also state whether the ex-governor was arrested alongside his wife, Ebelechukwu.
“Obiano was arrested and he is still in our custody.”
How EFCC swooped on Obiano at Lagos airport
Edujandon.com had earlier reported that ex-Governor Willie Obiano was arrested by EFCC operatives at the Lagos airport.
In November last year, the EFCC had in a letter to the Comptroller General of the Nigeria Immigration Service, requested the Service to place the governor on a watchlist and inform it anytime he is traveling out of the country.
EFCC arrested Obiano hours after he lost the constitutional immunity shielding him from criminal prosecution while in office as governor. Ebele Obiano spotted at Anambra airport hours before EFCC waylaid her husband
Meanwhile, Mrs. Ebelechukwu Obiano and her retinue of aides were spotted at the newly built Anambra airport hours after she temporarily disrupted the inauguration ceremony of Governor Chukwuma Charles Soludo.
Photos of the former first lady finding her way into the airport building were been shared on social media. Mrs. Obiano had confronted Ambassador Bianca Ojukwu at the event held in the state capital to herald a new political dispensation headed by the former Central Bank of Nigeria governor.
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