The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission will, on February 22, arraign a former Minister of Aviation, Stella Oduah, at the Federal High Court, Abuja, for alleged financial impropriety totalling more than N9.4billion fraud.
Justice Inyang Ekwo fixed the date on Tuesday because the former minister had yet to be served with the court processes.
SaharaReporters had in September 2017 uncovered how Oduah bought a $1.2million home in London, disguising it in the robes of a foreign-registered company in an effort to avoid detection.
The transaction, which had been kept secret, was blown open when Mrs. Oduah decided to rent out the house and engaged the services of a shady real estate company, Daniel Ford and Company Ltd, for that purpose.
SaharaReporters had also reported in February 2018 that the EFCC had commenced investigation of Oduah, over her involvement in the N9.4billion contract for supply of security equipment to 22 airports across the country.
Oduah, now a Senator, was interrogated at the Abuja office of EFCC on Monday over allegations made by a United States based firm, Psybernetix Limited, that she hijacked a contract meant for the firm for a company she had interest in.
Oduah, who currently represents Anambra North Senatorial District at the National Assembly, is facing the fraud charge alongside eight others in a suit with number: FHC/ABJ/CR/316/20.
Although the arraignment was scheduled for the day’s sitting, the case could not proceed because the lawmaker was not in court.
Counsel for the EFCC, Dr Hassan Liman, SAN, told the court that the ex-minister had not been served with the court processes.
The lawyer, therefore, prayed for an adjournment to enable the anti-graft agency to serve the lawmaker.
“My lord, the matter has been set out today for arraignment but I have been informed by the commission that the first defendant (Oduah) has yet to be served.
“In view of that, my lord, may I humbly apply for a very short date,” he said.
Justice Ekwo held that it was the duty of the prosecution to produce defendants in court.
The judge then adjourned the matter until February 22 for defendants to take their plea.
The anti-corruption agency is alleging that Oduah misappropriated public funds while serving as minister.