From Godwin Tsa, Abuja
Barring any last minute change, the former Minister of Aviation, Senator Stella Oduah, will on November 22 be arraigned before the Abuja division of the Federal High Court, over allegations bordering on fraud while she served in the office.
The ex-aviation minister is now a sitting Senator representing Anambra North Senatorial District at the National Assembly.
She was removed as the minister of aviation by former president Goodluck Jonathan on February 12, 2014, following a scandal over N255 million armoured cars which she made the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), an agency under her supervision as Minister of Aviation, buy for her at inflated prices.
The web of transactions, which the EFCC has now characterised as money laundering – in the fresh charges, started on February 5, 2014, about a week to Ms Oduah’s sack as aviation minister.
The transactions continued till five months after.
Although her arraignment before Justice Inyang Ekwo was scheduled for Tuesday, the proceeding could not take place due to a public holiday.
The matter, which has suffered series of adjournments, has now been fixed for November 22.
In a suit marked FHC/ABJ/CR/316/20, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC) alleged that Oduah misappropriated public funds to the tune of N5 billion while serving as minister of aviation.
Already, the court had, on July 12, threatened to issue a warrant of arrest against the former minister if she failed to appear in court by the next adjourned date (October 19).
Justice Ekwo gave the warning after the prosecution counsel, Dr Hassan Liman, told the court that Oduah and one other defendant were not in court to take their plea.
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