The trial of Senator Stella Adaeze Oduah, a former minister of aviation, in connection with alleged N7.9 billion fraud allegations brought against her by the Federal Government, has been put on hold by the Federal High Court in Abuja.
Justice Inyang Edem Ekwo postponed Mrs. Oduah’s scheduled arraignment today, June 15, due to an alleged threat to his life from unknown individuals.
Justice Ekwo presented a publication by a corporate group at the proceedings on Thursday in which his life was gravely threatened because of the upcoming trial.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, prosecuting the former Minister, was directed by Justice Ekwo, who was obviously upset by the revelations, to find those responsible for the business entity and bring them before the court.
The Judge further mandated that the Deputy Chief Registrar of the Court overseeing litigation communicate with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) in order to identify the leaders of the wrongdoing organization so that they may be detained.
In addition to stating that Nigeria is not a banana republic or an animal kingdom where acts of lawlessness can be tolerated, Justice Ekwo stated that the sanctity of the Court must be upheld.
In response, Mr. Ofem Uket, counsel for the EFCC, expressed concern over the event and assured that the anti-graft organization will take the necessary steps to hold those responsible accountable.
However, he pleaded with the court to prevent the trial from being derailed by unidentified individuals acting as external third parties.
Justice Ekwo set July 17 for the CAC report on the proprietors of the organization and the EFCC’s attempt to find those threatening his life based on the EFCC’s pledge to find those responsible.
The EFCC claims that Mrs. Oduah misused N7.9 billion in public funds while she was a minister in the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan.
Gloria Odita, Nwosu Emmanuel Nnamdi, Chukwuma Irene Chinyere, Tip Top Global Resources Limited, Crystal Television Limited, Sobora International Limited, and a foreign construction firm are additional defendants.
They are accused of conspiring, money laundering, and keeping secret bank accounts.