Abuja, Nigeria – Today’s Anti-Corruption Network (TACN) has appealed to President Bola Tinubu to intervene and prevent an alleged plot aimed at derailing the arraignment of Senator Stella Oduah over the N7.9 billion fraud charges filed against her by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). The arraignment is scheduled to take place on Monday.
The Federal High Court in Abuja had previously shifted the trial of Senator Oduah and others to June 5, 2023, for arraignment. However, TACN, in a statement signed by its Director of Programme, Engr Olufemi Austin, claimed that there are individuals orchestrating a plot to negotiate a plea bargain, despite Senator Oduah’s failure to testify in court after 13 sessions.
TACN expressed its concern, stating that this alleged plot undermines President Tinubu’s strong anti-corruption stance and the efforts of the APC administration. Senator Oduah, a former Minister of Aviation, is facing charges of money laundering totaling N7.9 billion, brought against her by the EFCC.
The statement released by TACN read, “Sir, kindly note that the planned arraignment of a former Minister of Aviation, Senator Stella Oduah on the N7.9bn money laundering charges on 5th June, 6th June, 7th June, 8th June, and 9th June 2023 may be stalled for the thirteenth (13th) consecutive time before Justice Ekwo Ekwo of the Federal High Court Abuja… This well-rehearsed orchestrated script and drama that have been played for the past 3 years in the Federal High Court Abuja, before Justice Ekwo is a monumental disgrace and slap to the anti-corruption crusade of the APC-led federal government.”
TACN appealed to President Tinubu to utilize his influence to engage with the Chief Justice of Nigeria, the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court Abuja, and any other relevant parties to investigate the reasons behind the repeated delays in Senator Stella Oduah’s arraignment. They also requested that the EFCC Chairman advise the EFCC Prosecutors to urgently apply to the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court Abuja for the reassignment of the case to a different judge.
TACN’s plea to President Tinubu aims to ensure that justice is served and that the fight against corruption remains strong within the APC-led government.