October 4, 2023

EFCC files fraud charges against Stella Oduah

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) will February 22 arraign a former Minister of Aviation, Stella Oduah, at the Federal High Court, Abuja, for alleged financial impropriety.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Ms Oduah was scheduled to be arraigned on Tuesday, but the judge, Inyang Ekwo, had to adjourn the case because the ex-minister was absent and had not been served with the relevant court documents.

Ms Oduah was in February 2014 removed as the aviation minister by then President Goodluck Jonathan following scandals she was involved in.

The former minister who later got involved in the campaigns for Mr Jonathan’s failed 2015 re-election bid, is currently the senator representing Abia North in the National Assembly.

The EFCC recently charged her alongside eight others with fraud offences in the case marked, FHC/ABJ/CR/316/20.

According to NAN, the anti-corruption agency alleged that Mrs Oduah misappropriated public funds while serving as a minister.

EFCC’s prosecuting counsel, Hassan Liman, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, in trying to defend Ms Oduah’s absence from Tuesday’s proceedings, confirmed to the court that the senator had not been served with the court processes.

The lawyer, therefore, urged the judge to adjourn the case to enable the anti-graft agency to serve the legislator.

“My lord, the matter has been set out today (Tuesday) for arraignment but I have been informed by the commission that the first defendant (Oduah) is yet to be served.

“In view of that my lord, may I humbly apply for a very short date,” he said.

Responding, the judge, Mr Ekwo, said it was the duty of the prosecution to produce defendants in court.

He then adjourned the matter till February 22 for defendants to take their plea.

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