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Court Directs FG To Take Over Stella Oduah’s ‘5bn Fraud’ Case

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – A federal high court in Abuja has directed the office of the attorney-general of the federation (AGF) to take over the N5 billion suit filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) against Stella Oduah, former aviation minister.

The EFCC had claimed that Oduah misappropriated public funds estimated at N5 billion during her time as minister and the charge marked FHC/ABJ/CR/316/2020, was first filed in 2020.

The African Examiner writes that Oduah and eight others were charged on Friday before an Abuja federal high court judge, Inyang Ekwo.

 Other defendants 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 China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) Nigeria Ltd.

Tthe defendants pleaded not guilty to the 25-count charge which borders on alleged conspiracy, money laundering, and maintaining anonymous accounts with First Bank Plc. Also, the defendants were granted bail shortly after.

After arraignment, Ekwo, enjoined the EFCC lawyer about the directive he gave to identify and produce persons who had sent threatening messages to him (the judge).

“I gave you the photocopies of these organisations. Are they here? Did you invite them?” the judge asked,

However, Ofem Uket, the prosecution lawyer, was unable to provide a direct answer to the questions.

Ekwo then stated that while he would give a date for trial commencement, the EFCC must provide  the affected people.

“I will give a date for trial and make a consequential order because you have allowed this matter to degenerate this way.

“You think you can shield any of these persons who have interfered in these proceedings?” he asked rhetorically.

“I make an order that the AGF shall take over this case and the EFCC shall hand over the records of proceedings to the office of the AGF,” the judge said in a short ruling.

The case has been adjourned to October 17 for trial to commence.

Short URL: https://www.africanexaminer.com/?p=89571

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