A former Minister of Aviation, Senator Stella Oduah, was on Friday, arraigned before the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission over allegations of graft.
Oduah, who served as Aviation Minister from 2011 to 2014, is facing trial over an allegation that she laundered public funds to the tune of about N5 billion, in connivance with eight others.
But the court on Friday ordered the office of the Attorney General of the Federation to take over the prosecution of Oduah, her ex-aide, Gloria Odita, and seven others charged with laundering about N5 billion.
The presiding judge, Justice Inyang Ekwo, gave the order after Oduah and the other defendants were arraigned and they pleaded not guilty to the 25 counts brought against them by the EFCC.
Charged alongside Oduah and Odita, in the 25-count charge, marked: FHC/ABJ/CR/316/2020 are 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 Nigeria Ltd.
On Friday, justice Ekwo said the controversy surrounding the prosecution of the case informed his decision for the AGF to take over the case.
He directed the EFCC to transfer the case file to the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation to ensure diligent prosecution of the defendants.
Justice Ekwo adjourned the case till October 17 for trial.
All rights reserved. This material, and other digital content on this website, may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express written permission from PUNCH.
Contact: [email protected]