The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission says Senator Stella Oduah (Anambra North) will be arraigned on eight counts of conspiracy, money laundering and maintaining anonymous bank accounts with First Bank Plc at the Federal High Court, Abuja on October 19, 2021.
The development comes amid Oduah’s recent defection to the All Progressives Congress. One-time national chairman of the party Adams Oshiomhole had said anyone who joins the party would have their “sins” forgiven.
However, EFCC spokesman Wilson Uwujaren confirmed on Monday that Oduah’s trial would go on.
“The matter is before Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court. The case came up on July 21 for arraignment but Oduah was not in court. The case was adjourned till October 19, 2021 for arraignment and trial,” Mr Uwajaren said.
The EFCC explained that she would be arraigned alongside a Nigerian subsidiary of China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation, CCECC Nigeria Limited; and Gloria Odita, who was her aide when she was the minister of aviation and company secretary of Sea Petroleum & Gas Company Limited, a firm founded by the former minister.
Other defendants are Nwobu Nnamdi, an employee of SPCG and aide to Oduah; Chukwuma Chinyere; Global Offshore and Marine Limited, Tip Top Global Resources Limited, Crystal Television Limited and Sobora International Limited.
The EFCC had indicted Oduah and CCECC in alleged fraudulent cash transactions of about N5bn in 2014 while she was the aviation minister.
She was removed as a minister by former President Goodluck Jonathan on February 12, 2014, following a scandal over N255m armoured cars purchased for her by the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority at inflated prices.
Oduah had missed the last court sitting on July 12, prompting Justice Inyang Ekwo to threaten her with a bench warrant.