A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, has said it would issue a bench warrant of arrest on former Aviation Minister, Senator Stella Oduah, if she failed to make herself available for trial come October 19.
This was said sequel to the flagrant refusal of the former minister to honour court proceedings.
Justice Inyang Ekwo therefore, warned the defendants to be in court on the date or have a bench warrant of arrest issued against them.
The Senator representing Anambra North Senatorial district, in the Senate was billed to be arraigned, on Monday on 25-count charges of alleged N10billion fraud.
When the matter was called up on Monday, Sen. Oduah, along with the 4th defendants were not in court for the arraignment without any excuse.
Counsel to the Economic and Financial Crime Commission, (EFCC), Dr Hassan Liman SAN, informed the court that all the defendants had been served with the charges.
He said that the prosecution was ready for the trial, and that 32 witnesses had been lined up to testify against her and eight others in order to establish the fraud charges against them.
Other defendants in the suit 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.
In the charge marked: FHC/ABJ/CR/316/2020, the prosecution alleged conspiracy, money laundering and maintaining anonymous bank accounts with a commercial bank as their offences.
Some of the charges read: 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.
They were in count 21 said to have, between March and May, 2014 took control of N1,225,347,254.00 transferred from a foreign company account with Zenith Bank Plc to Private Banking Nominee account No. 2024414450 domiciled with a commercial bank which money you reasonably ought to have known forms part of the proceeds of an unlawful act to wit: Fraud and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 15(2) (d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 (As Amended) and punishable under Section 15(3) of the same Act.
Oduah and Odita were, in count 24, accused of opening a naira “anonymous Private Banking Nominee Account No. 2024414450 with a commercial bank and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 11(1) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 (As Amended) and punishable under Section 11(4) (a) of the same Act.”
They were, in count 25, accused of opening a United State Dollar “anonymous Private Banking Nominee account No. 2024414498 with a commercial bank and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 11(1) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 (As Amended) and punishable under Section 1 1(4) (a) of the same Act.