Former Governor of Anambra State, Willie Obiano withdrew N4 billion from the state’s security vote account within 24 hours, a 2021 report by People’s Gazette has revealed
Mr Obiano, who was arrested yesterday night at the Lagos International Airport by the operatives of the anti-graft foe yet to be known offense was sworn in as the Governor of Anambra state November 2013 and 2017 on the platform of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, withdrew N500 million at eight different times on March 29, 2017, bank records showed.
Mr Obiano withdrew the funds from various Fidelity Bank account numbers 5110032568, 5110032599, 5110032551, 5110032544, 5110032582, 5110032575 with the same account name ‘Anambra State Security Vote’. All funds were withdrawn at Fidelity Bank’s branch at No 5, Akah Street, Umueze Village, Amawbia, Anambra State on the said date.
“I had not joined the government by the time in question,” he noted, adding that “the document you are referring to doesn’t appear genuine. The figures you quote look extremely ridiculous. N4bn withdrawn in one day? Simply an unintelligent allegation.”
In the past years, there have been allegations of misappropriation of security votes by public officeholders under the guise of enhancing the security of lives and properties.
Security votes are monthly funds allocated to each state for the sole aim of funding security services. The allocations, however, differ depending on the level of insecurity in each state.
A 2018 report by Transparency International in collaboration with the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Center (CISLAC) described the security vote as ” one of the most durable forms of corruption in Nigeria.”
Their estimates established that the security vote in Nigeria totalled around $670 million annually and argued that the misappropriation of funds further heightens insecurity.
“The security vote is one of the most durable forms of corruption operating in Nigeria today. Yet instead of addressing its many urgent threats, the ever-increasing use of security votes is providing corrupt officials with an easy-to-use and entirely hidden slush fund,” Katherine Dixon, Director of Transparency International Defence & Security, said in the report.