Court Releases Obiano's Passport for Medical Travel Despite N4bn Theft Allegation

Former Anambra State Governor Willie Obiano’s attempt to dismiss N4bn theft charges was rejected by Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court in Abuja. The judge dismissed Obiano’s preliminary objection but allowed the release of his passport for a medical trip. The court adjourned the trial to June 27, ordering Obiano to return the passport upon his return. Obiano faces nine counts of allegedly stealing Anambra State’s security votes amounting to N4bn.

Despite Obiano’s contention that the EFCC lacked the jurisdiction to prosecute him, the court upheld the charges, ruling that the EFCC Act’s validity remains intact.

Justice Ekwo highlighted the court’s summary jurisdiction in criminal cases, exempting the need for proof of evidence before trial. He dismissed Obiano’s application based on constitutional grounds and previous legal precedents.

Following the ruling, Obiano’s lawyer moved to modify the bail conditions due to the defendant’s health concerns. Despite reservations from the EFCC, the judge granted Obiano’s request, scheduling the trial for June 24-27.

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