Alleged Money Laundering: EFCC Arraigns Stella Oduah, Others on 25-count Charges

Stella-Oduah
Spread the love

A former Minister of Aviation, Stella Oduah, was on Friday arraigned before a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission {EFCC} on a 25-count charge.

Oduah is on trial for allegedly laundering public funds to the tune of about N7.9 billion in connivance with eight others.

Other defendants in the charge marked: FHC/ABJ/CR/316/20, are; Gloria Odita, Nwosu Emmanuel Nnamdi, Chukwuma Irene Chinyere, Global Offshore and Marine Ltd, Tip Top Global Resources Ltd, Crystal Television Ltd and Sobora International Ltd.

The accused persons, who were arraigned before Justice Inyang Ekwo, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.

The EFCC, among other things, alleged that Oduah and Odita, who was identified as her aid and the Company Secretary to Sea Petroleum & Gas Company Ltd (SPGC), had in February 2014, used their positions to transfer the sum of N1,629,250,000.00 from I-Sec Security Nig. Ltd account No. 2021756955 with First Bank Plc, to Global Offshore and Marine Ltd account No. 2022977296 also domiciled with First Bank Plc, which money they reasonably ought to have known formed part of the proceeds of an unlawful act.

The anti-graft agency also accused the defendants of opening a naira “anonymous Private Banking Nominee Account No. 2024414450 with First Bank Plc and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 11(1) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 (As Amended) and punishable under Section 11(4) (a) of the same Act.”

They were further accused of opening a United State dollar “anonymous Private Banking Nominee account No. 2024414498 with First Bank Plc and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 11(1) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 (As Amended) and punishable under Section 1 1(4) (a) of the same Act.”

Justice Ekwo, following the defendants’ not guilty plea, allowed them to go home on the administrative bail the EFCC earlier granted to them.

The judge, who adjourned the case till October 17 for trial, also directed the EFCC to transfer the case file to the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation to ensure diligent prosecution of the defendants.

EFCC had filed the case since 2020 but could not arraign the defendants after they wrote a petition to the immediate past Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, SAN.

Malami, who asked the court to put the trial on hold to enable him to review the case file, later gave the EFCC the go ahead for the trial.

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
WhatsApp