On the 27th of April, Stella Oduah, a Nigerian Senator and former Aviation Minister, secretly snuck into the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Secretariat for a screening procedure ahead of the party’s National Assembly primaries.
According to SaharaReporters, Oduah discreetly returned to the PDP after defecting to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
She quit the PDP for the APC on August 27, 2021. Following that, Oduah surreptitiously got the PDP party’s nomination form to return to the Senate and represent Anambra North Senatorial District.
“Senator Stella Oduah has finally dumped the APC and moved to the PDP after days of playing hide and seek game. Having used Abubakar Malami, the AGF (Attorney General of the Federation) to frustrate and hang her trial and prosecution at the Federal High Court, Abuja before Justice Inyang Ekwo on allegations of fraud, embezzlement and siphoning of N7.9 billion when she was the Minister of Aviation,” a source had told SaharaReporters.
It was learnt that Oduah was grilled at the PDP national secretariat, Wadata Plaza, Abuja by the party’s National Assembly Screening Committee for Anambra, led by Ude Okoye.
Meanwhile, the Senator has failed to publicly announce her defection from the APC to the PDP.
The move comes a few days after the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN) orchestrated different strategies to compromise and frustrate the prosecution of the Senator who has corruption cases hanging on her neck.
“The trio of Abubakar Malami, Governor Mai Mala Buni and Senator Ahmad Lawan are feeling used and dumped by Stella Oduah, having been briefed and realised that she has used them to frustrate her prosecution and betrayed their ‘agreement’ and ‘accord’ by finalising arrangements to dump APC for PDP in the next few days,” a source had said.
SaharaReporters exclusively reported in 2021 that Oduah’s trial by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over a N7.9 billion fraud may be scuttled going by her secret plot with Senate President, Ahmad Lawan and Malami.
“February 22 (2021) has passed but she was not arraigned. April 19 has also passed. She is working very hard using Senate President and AGF to either scuttle arraignment or frustrate the trial. Alternatively, they are planning to water down the trial through the prosecution via the EFCC chairman.
“Another way is through the prosecutor, Dr Hassan Liman, a close friend of Lawan and the AGF,” the source had revealed to SaharaReporters.
Oduah is being prosecuted on 25 counts of money laundering alongside Gloria Odita, Nwobu Emmanuel Nnamdi, Chukuma Irene Chinyere, Global Offshore and Marine Limited, Crystal Television Limited, Sobora International Limited and the China Civil Engineering Construction Company Limited.
SaharaReporters gathered that the arraignment of the Senator was aborted at the Federal High Court in Abuja during the last adjourned date (Monday, November 22nd, 2021) over a letter written by Malami.
When Oduah and three others were called into the dock to take their plea, counsel for the 7th and 8th defendants, Ogwu James Onoja (SAN), objected to the arraignment on the ground that his clients were being persecuted by EFCC.
According to him, the aggrieved defendants had petitioned Malami, seeking a review of the charges against them.
Ogwu informed Justice Inyang Ekwo that the AGF, upon receipt of the petition, wrote the chairman of EFCC to remit the case file to his office for a review, adding that in flagrant disregard to the AGF’s letter, the EFCC had bluntly refused to remit the case file to the AGF.
He tendered a certified true copy of the AGF’s letter as received by the EFCC chairman and urged the court not to go ahead with the arraignment until the petition had been resolved in the interest of justice.
However, a lawyer for the EFCC, Ofem Uket denied any knowledge of the AGF’s letter, adding that as a staff member of EFCC, he was just sighting the letter for the first time in court.
The counsel urged the court to disregard the petition by the defendants and proceed to arraign them.
He said that the AGF would have come to the court if he had any opposition to the arraignment.
However, Justice Ekwo said that since the petition was raised as both a statutory and constitutional matter by the defendants, he would not proceed.
Oduah’s planned arraignment before then in the corruption charges had been stalled five times, largely due to her absence in court.