Alleged ₦10bn Fraud: Court Fixes New Date For Stella Oduah’s Trial
A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has fixed a new date for the arraignment of former Minister of Aviation, Stella Oduah, over allegations bordering on fraud.
Ezenwoko’s Blog understands that the arraignment was supposed to hold on Tuesday, October 19 but due to the Eid-Maulud public holiday, it could not hold.
It was, however, confirmed in a statement released on Wednesday that Oduah’s trial is now scheduled to hold November 22-23.
The court judge, Justice Inyang Ekwo had on July 12, threatened to issue a warrant of arrest against the senator currently representing Anambra North Senatorial District at the National Assembly, if she failed to appear in court by the next adjourned date (Oct. 19).
The judge had given the warning after Dr Hassan Liman, counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in the alleged fraud trial against Oduah and eight others, told the court that Oduah and one other defendant were not in court to take their plea.
The court is understood to have earlier fixed Feb. 9 for the arraignment of the former minister but because she was not served with the court processes, the arraignment could not go on.
The court subsequently fixed April 19 for the arraignment but due to the strike by the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN), the matter could not hold.
Ezenwoko’s Blog reports that Oduah is facing a fraud charge alongside others in a suit with the number: FHC/ABJ/CR/316/20.
EFCC is alleging that Oduah misappropriated public funds while serving as the nation’s minister of aviation.
When the matter was called in the last adjourned date, Liman, who informed that the case was scheduled for arraignment, said the anti-corruption agency had carried out the court order made on Feb. 9.
“On Feb. 22, 2020, my lord made an order of substituted service on the 5th and 6th defendants in the trial.
“We have carried out the order my lord,” he had said.