A Federal High Court in Abuja, has threatened to issue a bench warrant of arrest on a former Aviation Minister, Senator Stella Oduah, if she fails to appear in court for trial on October 19.
The former minister was to be arraigned in court yesterday over alleged N10 billion fraud.
The presiding judge, Justice Inyang Ekwo, issued the threat following the persistent refusal of the former minister to honour court proceedings.
Oduah, now a senator representing Anambra North senatorial district, was billed to be arraigned on 25 count charges but she was not in court along with the 4th defendant.
When the matter came up, counsel to EFCC, Hassan Liman (SAN), informed the court that all the defendants have been served with the charges as ordered by the court and expressed disgust that the former minister was not in court without any excuse.
He said that 32 witnesses have been lined up to testify against her and eight others in order to establish the fraud charges against them.
Justice Ekwo while fixing October 19 for arraignment of the former minister, warmed the absentee defendants to be in court on the date or have bench warrant of arrest issued against them.
Listed for trial along with Oduah, as defendants in the charge, marked: FHC/ABJ/CR/316/2020 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 a foreign company.
They are charged with conspiracy, money laundering and maintaining anonymous bank accounts with a commercial bank.
The federal government, through the EFCC filed the 25-count charge against them before the Federal High Court in Abuja.
In count four of the fresh charge, Oduah, Odita (whilst being the Company Secretary to Sea Petroleum & Gas Company Ltd (SPGC), and an aide to the former Minister of Aviation) were said to have in February, 2014 used their positions to transfer N1,629,250,000.00 from I-Sec Security Nigeria. Ltd account No. 2021756955 with a commercial bank to Global Offshore and Marine Ltd account No. 2022977296 also domiciled with a commercial bank which money you reasonably ought to have known forms part of the proceeds of an unlawful act.