Former Governor of Anambra State, Chief Willie Obiano, is finding it difficult to meet the bail conditions because of his inability to bring one of the three Senators representing the State as surety which was part of the conditions demanded by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) before his release.
As part of the administrative bail granted to the former Governor by the EFCC, he is required to bring two Directors working with any of the Federal Government Ministry, Department or Agency (MDA) who have verifiable landed property in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja. This, his former aides and associates are confident of meeting.
But where they have serious hiccups is the demand of EFCC that the former Governor bring a serving Senator from his State, Anambra, as surety.
But this is proving very difficult as neither the Governor nor his wife is in good terms with all the three Senators from Anambra State serving in Nigeria’s upper legislative Chamber.
For example, it is on record that in all his eight years as Governor of Anambra State, he never met with the State’s National Assembly delegation as a way of having a working synergy with them.
But the situation is complicated by the fact that on a personal level, the former Governor and his wife, Ebelechukwu, have no love lost with the three Senators.
For example, Senator Ifeanyi Ubah (Anambra South) worked against the interest of his then party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the run up to the 2017 Governorship election in the hope that he would get the ticket of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) to contest for Senate in the 2019 election.
But this was not to be, forcing Senator Ubah to contest for the seat under the Young Progressive Party (YPP) under whose platform he won the ticket.
As for Senator Uche Ekwunife (Anambra Central), it is an open secret that Governor’s wife, Ebelechukwu, had her way and her effort to clinch the APGA ticket to contest the Senatorial election in 2019 was frustrated by her overbearing influence. She defected and won the election under the PDP platform. Sources confirmed that Senator Ekwunife, then a member of the House of Representatives had a public altercation in Europe in the presence of then First Lady, Patience Jonathan, who had to reprimand the former Governor’s wife openly for her unruly behaviour.
In the run up to the 2019 elections, Senator Stella Oduah (Anambra North) had defected from PDP to APGA in the hope of contesting for her re-election. But despite the promises that made her defect, she met a stumbling block which sources attributed to Mrs Obiano insistence that she must not be on the ticket.
Oduah was saved by former Governor Peter Obi’s emergence as PDP Vice Presidential candidate and she was allowed to come back to the party under whose platform she won the re-election. And even after these, there was no effort by either the Governor or the wife to have a thaw in their relationships.
So, it is not easy to approach any of the three Senators to stand as surety for Governor Obiano as they are known enemies.
And to complicate matters, sources hinted that Senators Ifeanyi Ubah and Stella Oduah may not be acceptable to the EFCC as sureties as they have issues and cases with the anti-corruption body.
According to a source, “Governor Obiano’s travails in the past five days should teach people a lesson in humility and human relations and the fact that power is transient. The Governor is still in detention because of his wife’s attitude to the people who are his only road to meeting the bail conditions. And the Governor has an innate disdain for people or simply lack human relations and proper understanding of political power, Look at where he is now. It is pathetic.”
But sources said efforts are being made to reach out to the Senators especially Ekwunife who has no case with EFCC to stand as surety on behalf of the former Governor so that he can at least leave the detention centre.
As one source noted, “his continued stay in the EFCC detention centre has become an embarrassment not only to him and his family but to Anambra State and the Igbos. But it is also indicative of the way he played his politics and lived his life in the last eight years. We all need each other. Nobody knows tomorrow. That is the lesson from what is going on.”