By Olalekan Awojodu
A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, Monday, warned former Aviation Minister, Senator Stella Oduah to appear in court and answer to the charges of N10 billion preferred against her, failure of the court may issue a bench warrant for her.
Oduah arraignment in the charge marked: FHC/ABJ/CR/316/2020, Gavel International reports was as a result of an allegation bordering on N10 billion fraud.
The trial judge, Justice Inyang Ekwo, issued the warning at the resumed sitting following the continuous refusal Aviation Minister, Stella Oduah and eight others named in the charge to appear in court to honour proceedings.
In the 25-count charge filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Oduah, 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 China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) Nigeria Ltd are all defendants in the case.
Oduah, a serving senator, representing Anambra North Senatorial District in the Senate, was billed to be arraigned on 25-count charges but she was not in court along with the fourth defendant.
At the proceedings, counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Dr. Hassan Liman, told the court that all the defendants had been served with the charges as ordered by court, expressing regrets however that the former minister was again not in court.
The prosecution according to him, had lined up 32 witnesses to testify against the former minister and eight others in order to establish the fraud charges against them.
Justice Ekwo fixed October 19 for the arraignment of the former minister and commencement of trial.
He nevertheless warned the absentee defendants to be in court on the adjourned date or have bench warrant of arrest issued against them.