Justice Inyang Ekwo of a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has threatened to issue a bench warrant of arrest on a former Aviation Minister, Senator Stella Oduah, if she fails to appear in court for trial on October 19.
The judge gave the warning on Monday, July 12, when Oduah who now represents Anambra North Senatorial District in the Senate, and some other defendants were absent at the proceedings with no explanation from their lawyers
In the 25-count charge filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Oduah and the nine other defendants are accused, among others, of engaging in the laundering of about N10billion.
They are particularly charged with conspiracy, money laundering and maintaining anonymous bank accounts with an old generation bank.
Named with Oduah, 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.
At the mention of the case on Monday, the court noted that 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.
It was at this junction that the judge threatened to issue a warrant of arrest against the former minister and the other defendants.