Saturday, June 10, 2023

N5 Billion Fraud: Stella Oduah’s trial to continue in 2023 

Mr Malami has given EFCC approval to prosecute former aviation minister Stella Oduah and others for alleged N5 billion fraud.

• October 12, 2022
Abubakar Malami and Bawa

Abubakar Malami, the attorney general of the federation, has given the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) approval to prosecute former aviation minister Stella Oduah and others for alleged N5 billion fraud.

Prosecuting counsel Hassan Liman (SAN) informed Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court at the resumed hearing on Wednesday.

Mr Ekwo, On May 10, fixed October 12 for the arraignment of the defendants following a letter from the office of the AGF in response to a petition by counsel to the eighth defendant in the suit, Ogwu Onoja (SAN).

On November 22, 2021, Mr Onoja objected to the defendants taking their plea, informing that a petition had already been written to the AGF, complaining that the defendants were persecuted as against prosecution.

The development prompted the court to adjourn to await a response from the AGF.

When the matter was called for the defendants to take their plea, counsel to the EFCC, Mr Liman, informed that the AGF had finally responded to the petition and given the nod in a letter for the matter to proceed.

The defendants’ lawyers, including Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN), who appeared for Ms Oduah, acknowledged receipt of the AGF’s letter.

The judge, who ordered an accelerated hearing in the trial, directed all parties to put their house in order.

Mr Ekwo said the trial would be on a day-to-day basis and adjourned until February 13, February 14, February 15, February 16 and February 17, 2023, for a hearing.

Ms Oduah, representing Anambra North senatorial district, was expected to be arraigned by the EFCC on alleged N5 billion fraud and financial misappropriation.

Other defendants in the charge, marked: FHC/ABJ/CR/316/2020, are Gloria Odita, Nwosu Emmanuel Nnamdi, Chukwuma Irene Chinyere, Global Offshore and Marine Ltd, Tip Top Global Resources Ltd, Crystal Television Ltd, Sobora International Ltd and others.

They were charged with conspiracy, money laundering and maintaining anonymous bank accounts with a commercial bank and will be arraigned on a 25-count charge.


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