The arrested former Governor of Anambra State was arrested for alleged misappropriation of public funds.
This is according to a source at the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Mr Obiano was arrested by the EFCC on Thursday evening at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos, hours after handing over to Governor Charles Soludo.
According to the EFCC source, he was arrested for misappropriating N5bn Sure-P and N37 billion Security Vote funds, which was withdrawn in cash.
Part of the funds were also allegedly diverted to finance political activities in the state, the source added.
Mr Obiano is said to have been moved from Lagos an EFCC facility in Abuja.
The former Governor, who has been on the Commission’s watchlist for months, was arrested at about 8.30pm on Thursday.
He was reportedly on his way out of the country to Houston, Texas in the United States.
Channels Television had reported last November how the EFCC had placed Mr Obiano on a watchlist.
The EFCC had requested the Nigeria Immigration Service to inform it anytime the Governor is travelling out of the country from any of the international airports, as well as other points of entry and exit.
Sources told Channels Television that the move was an indication that the agency may have been discreetly investigating the governor and possibly have intelligence that he was planning to escape after handing over power to his successor, Professor Charles Soludo, on March 16, 2022.
Former Anambra State Commissioner for Information, Don Adinuba, had, at the time, condemned the EFCC watchlist reports, claiming that they were politically motivated.
“Governor Obiano has a whole four months to remain in office as the Anambra State chief executive,” Adinuba said. “Nobody in Nigeria can circumscribe his constitutionally conferred immunity which shields him from both criminal and civil prosecution.
“The EFCC went too far to announce in November that it is observing him. We are not aware of any state governor who had up to four months to be in office and the EFCC went on to sponsor media reports that he was being investigated.”