Federal High Court Judge Warns Against Intrusion in Oduah’s N5bn Suit

Judge Inyang Ekwo cautions against private messages and vows to take action against intruders

In a recent development, Judge Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court in Abuja has issued a stern warning to individuals who have been sending him private messages regarding the N5 billion lawsuit filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) against Senator Stella Oduah and others. Ekwo expressed his dissatisfaction with the intrusion into his privacy and threatened to involve security agencies to identify the sender.

Federal High Court Judge Warns Against Intrusion in Oduah's N5bn Suit
Stella Oduah

During the court proceedings, the defense counsels for Oduah (the 1st defendant), Dr. Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN), and Crystal Television Limited (the 7th defendant), Ogwu Onoja (SAN), confirmed that efforts were underway to resolve the matter without proceeding to trial.

In response to this update, Judge Ekwo condemned the breach of his privacy and emphasized that his records were public documents accessible to anyone who followed proper legal procedures.

The prosecuting counsel, Dr. Hassan Liman (SAN), representing the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation, also condemned the act, stating that even if the person sending the messages was a party to the suit, they had no right to communicate directly with the judge.

At the beginning of the proceedings, Liman informed the court that the session was scheduled for the formal arraignment of the defendants as ordered, and he expressed readiness to proceed.

However, Ikpeazu, representing Oduah, explained that there were pending applications they intended to file, suggesting the need for discussion with the prosecution.

Onoja, representing the 7th defendant, informed the court that his client had approached the anti-graft agency and had already paid nearly 95% of the alleged amount involved in the case. He mentioned that they were awaiting the response from the commission, with approximately N80 million remaining to be settled.

Confirming Onoja’s statement, Liman acknowledged that the defense counsel had indeed written to the EFCC seeking the discontinuation of the case.

However, Liman noted that once the matter had been filed in court, the defendants would be required to enter their pleas.

Expressing his readiness for the arraignment, Judge Ekwo stated that if the dialogue failed to resolve the matter, the trial would proceed as scheduled. He adjourned the case until June 15 for a report or the commencement of the trial.

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