Former Aviation Minister, Senator Stella Oduah and eight others standing trial in an alleged N10bn money laundering allegation risked being arrested should she fail to appear in court on the next date.
Justice Inyang Ekwo of a Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday gave the warning, threatening to issue arrest warrants against the Senator and the other defendants should they fail to attend court on the next date.
He issued the threat when the defendants including the former minister failed to appear in Court on Monday with no explanation from their lawyers.
Named with Odua as defendants 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 China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) Nigeria Ltd.
In the 25-count charge filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC, the nine defendants are accused, among others, of engaging in the laundering of about N10 billion.
They are particularly charged with conspiracy, money laundering and maintaining anonymous bank accounts with an old generation bank.
At the mention of the case on Monday, the court noted only the second and third defendants (Gloria Odita, Nwosu Emmanuel Nnamdi) were present.
The development prompted the prosecuting lawyer, Hassan Liman (SAN) to complain about the absence of the other defendants without any explanation from their lawyers.
This is the third time the arraignment was being put off due to the absence of the defendants.
At the last proceeding in February 23, 2021, lawyer to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Hassan Liman (SAN), claimed he had not served all the defendants, thereby stalling proceedings
At the mention of the case on February 9, 2021, Liman told the court that the defendants were absent in court because they had not been served.