The planned arraignment of former minister of aviation Stella Adaeze Oduah before Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court, Abuja, could not commence due to the absence of some of the suspects.
Although Odua, who is Senator representing Anambra North in the National Assembly, was present in court, the fifth and sixth defendant in the charge were absent.
Odua was scheduled to be arraigned on a 25-count charge of money laundering alongside Gloria Odita, Nwobu Emmanuel Nnamdi, Chukuma Irene Chinyere, Global Offshore and Marine Limited, Crystal Television Limited, Sobora International Limited and China Civil Engineering Construction Company Limited (CCECC).
One of the counts read; “That you Stella Adaeze Oduah whilst being the Minister of Aviation, Federal Republic of Nigeria and Gloria Odita whilst being the Company Secretary to Sea Petroleum & Gas Company Ltd (SPGC), and an aide to the former Minister of Aviation on or about the 12th day of February, 2014 at Abuja within the Abuja Judicial Division of this Honourable Court used your positions to transfer the sum of N1, 629,250,000.00 (One Billion, Six Hundred and Twenty Nine Million, Two Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira only) from 1-Sec Security Nig. Ltd account No. 2021756955 with First Bank Plc to Global Offshore and Marine Ltd account No. 2022977296 also domiciled with First Bank Plc, which money you reasonably ought to have known forms part of the proceeds of an unlawful act and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 15(2) (6) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 (As Amended) and punishable under Section 15(3) of the same Act”.
When the case was mentioned, prosecuting counsel Hassan Liman (SAN) informed the court that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) tried every means possible but was unable to serve the fifth and sixth defendants with the court processes. He therefore applied for additional fourteen days to serve them.
Justice Ekwo granted his prayer and adjourned till April 19, 2021 for arraignment.