Willie Obiano, the former governor of Anambra State, was detained on Thursday at the Murtala Muhammad International Airport in Lagos by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
Obiano was detained about 8.30 p.m. after being on the Commission’s radar for months.
After passing over to his successor, Governor Charles Soludo, he was apparently on his way out of the nation to Houston, Texas in the United States.
Mr Obiano was placed on a watchlist by the EFCC in November.
The EFCC had asked the Nigeria Immigration Service to notify it whenever the Governor leaves the country through any of the country’s international airports or other points of entrance and exit.
However, it is unclear why the governor was placed on a watchlist by the anti-corruption body.
The move suggested the agency was quietly investigating the governor and may have information that he was going to flee after handing over office to his successor, Professor Charles Soludo, on March 16, 2022.
Don Adinuba, the former Anambra State Commissioner for Information, had denounced the EFCC watchlist reports at the time, stating that they were politically motivated.
“Governor Obiano has four months to stay in office as the chief executive of Anambra State,” Adinuba remarked. “No one in Nigeria has the authority to limit his constitutionally granted immunity, which protects him from criminal and civil prosecution.”
“The EFCC went too far in announcing its observation of him in November. We’re not aware of any state governor who had up to four months in office before the EFCC sponsored media claims that he was under investigation.”