Criminal Law

FG finally okays arraignment of Oduah over N7.9bn fraud

From Olalekan Awojodu, Abuja.

After failed attempt to arraign her six times, the Attorney General of the Federation AGF and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami Wednesday issued a directive for the arraignment of a former Aviation Minister, Senator Stella Adaeze Oduah in the N7.9B money laundering charges brought against her by the Federal Government.

The directive was contained in a letter issued to the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja. Oduah and others defendants in the alleged fraud were to have been docked since last year but was for six times put off following the request of the AGF to allow him study the case file and give legal opinion.

The new development has however, brought to an end the adjournments suffered by previous arraignments.

At Wednesday’s proceedings, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC brought a letter before the court from Malami, asking that the Senator be formally docked on the alleged offences.

Mrs Odua, who was personally present in court along with her other eight co-defendants were given February 13, 14, 15, 16 and 17, 2023 for arraignment and full scale accelerated trial.

Justice Inyang Edem Ekwo fixed the date following confirmation by parties that Malami, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria actually issued the letter and copied them as required by law.

Former Aviation Minister, Mrs Stella Oduah

The EFCC in the charges, alleged that Mrs Oduah misappropriated the N7.9 billion public funds while serving as a Minister under former President Goodluck Jonathan’s regime.

Other defendants are Gloria Odita, Nwosu Emmanuel Nnamdi, Chukwuma Irene Chinyere, Global Offshore, and Marine Limited, Tip Top Global Resources Limited, Crystal Television Limited and Sobora International Limited.

They are charged with conspiracy and money laundering, as well as maintaining anonymous bank accounts.

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