Willie Obiano

Willie Obiano
Picture of Governor Willie Obiano at the Funeral of Bishop Okafor (cropped)
Portrait of Willie Obiano
Governor of Anambra State
In office
17 March 2014 – 17 March 2022
DeputyNkem Okeke
Preceded byPeter Obi
Succeeded byCharles Soludo
Personal details
Born (1955-08-08) 8 August 1955 (age 68)
Aguleri, Anambra State, Nigeria
Political partyAll Progressives Grand Alliance
SpouseEbele Obiano

Willie Obiano // (born August 8, 1955) is a Nigerian politician, banker and technocrat. He was the fourth Governor of Anambra State from 17 March 2014 to 17 March 2022.

Early life

Governor Obiano was born at Aguleri, a town in Anambra State, Eastern Nigeria. He received a bachelor's degree in Accountancy from the University of Lagos in 1979 and a Master of Business Administration from the same university.

Banking career

Governor Obiano began his banking career in 1981 at the First Bank of Nigeria before he left to join the services of Chevron Oil Nigeria Plc as an accountant and rose to the position of Chief Internal Auditor. In 1989, he was one of the auditors that audited Texaco Refinery in Rotterdam, Netherlands. In 1991, he joined the Fidelity Bank as Deputy Manager and head of Audit unit and rose to the position of executive director in October 2003.

Political life

Obiano left the banking system to join Nigerian politics and in 2013 contested the November 16, 17 and 30 Anambra State gubernatorial elections on the platform of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA. He won the election and was sworn in on 17 March 2014 to succeed Peter Obi. On 18 November 2017, he was re-elected as Governor. His tenure ended on the 17 March 2022.

Corruption allegations

In late November 2021, not long after Charles Chukwuma Soludo was elected as Obiano's successor, it emerged that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had placed Obiano on a watchlist so it would be informed if he left the nation; Obiano had flown abroad earlier in November. In response to the EFCC's move, the Anambra Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, Don Adinuba, stated that the EFCC had gone to a "new low" by releasing the letter placing Obiano on the list. Adinuba also claimed that it was well known that Obiano was planning on moving to his residence in the United States after leaving office.

Although the EFCC did not state the reason for the watchlist placement, speculation about potential investigations in alleged corruption led journalists to investigate the finances of the Obiano administration[citation needed]. On 30 November 2021, the Peoples Gazette released an exclusive on bank documents showing that on 29 March 2017, Obiano had withdrawn over ₦4 billion from multiple Anambra security vote allocation accounts with no stated explanation[citation needed]. Adinuba rebutted that "the document...doesn’t appear genuine" and "the figures you quote look extremely ridiculous."

Hours after Obiano left office and thus lost immunity from prosecution on 17 March 2022, he was arrested by the EFCC at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos. The reason for the arrest is yet to be announced but EFCC spokesperson Wilson Uwajaren said it was connected to the watchlist placement and that Obiano was attempting to flee the nation. The EFCC stated that the reason for the arrest and detention of the immediate past Governor of Anambra State was to enable him account for public funds amounting to N42 billion meant for security votes and Federal Government-funded Subsidy Reinvestment Programme aka SURE-P.

See also

This page was last updated at 2023-12-23 20:49 UTC. Update now. View original page.

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