SCHADE: Nigeria’s ruling All Progressives Congress welcomes ex-minister Stella Oduah to the party despite ongoing N 9.4 billion fraud proceedings
Former Aviation Minister and incumbent Senator Stella Oduah has defected from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Oduah, who represents Anambra North, was inducted into the ruling party’s bosom at a brief ceremony in Abuja on Thursday.
Mai Mala Buni, national chairperson of the APC janitorial committee; Ovie Omo-Agege, Senate Vice President; Atiku Bagudu, Chairman of the Progressive Governors Forum (PGF), and Hope Uzodimma, Governor of Imo, attended the event.
SaharaReporters had exclusively reported in April that Oduah’s proceedings before the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission for a fraud amounting to N 9.4 billion could be gradually thwarted after their secret conspiracy with Senate President Ahmad Lawan and the Attorney General of the Federation and the Minister of Justice , Abubakar Malami.
SaharaReporters had learned that the trial of Oduah, which was due to take place on February 22nd, could not be continued because the co-defendants and the minister did not appear before Judge Inyang Ekwo of the Federal Court of Justice in Abuja.
The judge had given the prosecutor additional weeks and set April 19, but the former minister’s case again failed to come up on Monday as planned.
It was found that Oduah met Lawan and Malami to clarify their case with the EFCC.
“February 22nd passed, but she was not charged. April 19th is also over. She works very hard with the Senate President and the AGF to either thwart the indictment or thwart the trial. Alternatively, they plan to water down the process through the prosecution over the EFCC chairman.
“Another way is through the public prosecutor, Dr. Hassan Liman, a close friend of Lawan and the AGF, ”a source told SaharaReporters.
SaharaReporters reported on February 22 that the EFCC planned to re-indict Oduah on the same day for fraud totaling over N 9.4 billion, but their co-defendants did not appear in court as part of the conspiracy.
Odua, along with Gloria Odita, Nwobu Emmanuel Nnamdi, Chukuma Irene Chinyere, Global Offshore and Marine Limited, Crystal Television Limited, Sobora International Limited, and the China Civil Engineering Construction Company Limited, were about to face 25 counts of money laundering.
One of the points in the indictment reads: “That you, Stella Adaeze Oduah, as Minister of Aviation of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Gloria Odita as Company Secretary of the Sea Petroleum & Gas Company Ltd (SPGC) and as an advisor to the former Minister of Aviation on or about Dec. February 2014 in Abuja within the Abuja Judicial Division of this honorable court, used your positions to transfer the sum of N1,629,250,000 from 1-Sec Security Nig. Ltd Account No. 2021756955 at First Bank Plc to the Global Offshore and Marine Ltd Account No. 2022977296, also resident at First Bank Plc, which money you should reasonably have known, is part of the proceeds of an illegal act and thereby commits a crime in violation of the law 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, the prosecutor, Dr. Hassan Liman, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, told the court that the commission had tried all possible means but was unable to assist the fifth and sixth defendants in the trials.
He therefore requested an additional 14 days to deliver it.
Judge Ekwo granted his prayer and adjourned until April 19, 2021 on charges.
SaharaReporters reported on February 9th that Oduah would be charged with more than N 9.4 billion total in fraud alleged financial inappropriateness.
SaharaReporters revealed in September 2017 how Oduah bought a $ 1.2 million house in London and dressed it up in the robes of a foreign-registered company to avoid detection.
The secret transaction was blown when Mrs. Oduah decided to rent the house out using the services of a seedy real estate company, Daniel Ford and Company Ltd.
SaharaReporters also reported in February 2018 that the EFCC had launched an investigation into Oduah for its involvement in the N9.4 billion contract for the delivery of security equipment to 22 airports across the country.