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Ex-Aviation minister, eight others arraigned for ₦7.9bn fraud

Former Minister of Aviation, Stella Oduah, has been dragged by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) before Justice I.E. Ekwo of the Federal High Court, Maitama, Abuja on a 25-count charge bordering on money laundering, to the tune of N7.96bn.

Oduah was arraigned on Friday, alongside three individuals named Gloria Odita, Nwobu Emmanuel Nnamdi, Irene Chukwuma; five companies including Global Offshore and Marine Limited, Tiptop Global Resources Limited, Crystal Television Limited, Sobora International Limited, and China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation.

When the charges preffered against them was read to them, the defendants all pleaded not guilty.

In view of their plea, Justice Ekwo granted administrative bail to the defendants and adjourned the matter to October 17 for commencement of trial.

The judge also requested for the report of an investigation which he had ordered the EFCC to carry out with respect to an anonymous threat message he received via SMS in relation to the case.

Responding to this, lead prosecutor of the EFCC, Hassan Liman (SAN) told the court that the Commission was doing its best to fish out the anonymous messenger.

Justice Ekwo ordered the Commission to apprehend the culprit behind the anonymous threat message within two weeks or hand over the file on its investigation of the former minister and eight others to the Attorney General of the Federation to continue with the prosecution.

The commission had filed its charges against the defendants since December 17, 2020 but several attempts to arraign them were abortive.

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