A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has threatened to situation a warrant of arrest towards former Aviation Minister, Stella Oduah and different defendants in the event that they fail to look in courtroom by the subsequent adjourned date.
Justice Inyang Ekwo gave the warning on Monday after he was knowledgeable by Hassan Liman, counsel for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission that Oduah and one different defendant weren’t in courtroom to take their plea.
Oduah, alongside eight different defendants, have been arraigned in courtroom over an alleged N5 billion fraud.
The courtroom had earlier fastened February 9 for the arraignment of the previous minister and eight others.
However, Oduah, presently representing the Anambra North Senatorial District on the National Assembly, was not served with the courtroom processes then, therefore the arraignment couldn’t go on.
The courtroom additionally fastened April 19 for the arraignment however the strike embarked upon by members of the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria delayed the courtroom listening to.
The lawmaker has been accused of fraud alongside others in a swimsuit with the quantity: FHC/ABJ/CR/316/20.
The anti-corruption company is alleging that Oduah misappropriated public funds to the tune of N5 billion whereas serving as Minister of Aviation.
When the matter was referred to as, Liman, who knowledgeable that the case was scheduled for arraignment, stated the anti-corruption company had carried out the courtroom order made on February 9.
“On February 22, 2020, my lord made an order of substituted service on the 5th and 6th defendants in the trial.
“We have carried out the order, my lord,” he stated.
Justice Ekwo, nonetheless, stated for the reason that courtroom didn’t sit on the final adjourned date, Monday’s continuing must be for a report on the event and one other date can be fastened for arraignment.
“How many witnesses are you calling,” the decide requested.
Liman, who stated the EFCC can be calling no less than 32 witnesses within the trial, stated whereas a number of the witnesses had been inside the courtroom jurisdiction, others weren’t.
He added that the company would produce two witnesses on the primary day of trial graduation.
The lawyer referred to as the courtroom consideration to the truth that Oduah, who’s the first defendant, and one other defendant listed as 4th within the trial weren’t in courtroom.
“I will fix another date for arraignment and if they like, let them not come,” Ekwo stated.
The decide, who instructed the prosecution lawyer to place his home so as, stated “once the plea is taken, I am proceeding with trial.”
Ekwo, due to this fact, warned that any defendant who isn’t in courtroom on the subsequent adjourned date can be issued an arrest warrant.
“Apart from the 2nd and 3rd defendants, the other defendants are absent today. This is a note of warning that anyone absent will be issued with a warrant of arrest,” he dominated.
He adjourned the matter till October 19 for arraignment and trial.