Senate To Probe Senator Abbo Over Assault

 

The Nigerian Senate has set up an ad-hoc committee to investigate allegations of assault against Senator Elisha Abbo.

Six men and two women have been chosen as members of the committee which will be headed by Senator Sam Egwu.

READ ALSO: Assault: Senator Abbo Reacts As Nigerians Condemn His Action

Senators Stella Oduah and Oluremi Tinubu are the women in the committee that have been given two weeks to conclude it’s investigations.

The matter was raised as a point of order by Senator Uba Sani.

More details later.

Stella Oduah Returns To Senate, Wins Anambra North Senatorial Zone

File photo: Stella Oduah

 

A former Minister of Aviation, Stella Oduah, has been declared the winner of the Anambra North Senatorial district by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The Returning Officer of the commission, Professor. Hugh Maduka, declared the winner on Monday at the Onitsha Collation Centre.

READ ALSOAjimobi Loses Bid For Oyo South Senatorial District To PDP’s Balogun

He said Stella Oduah who is the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) polled 113,989 votes to defeat Emmanuel Chinedu of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) with 59,937 votes.

The All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Mr. Nelson Onubogu, polled 11,995 votes.

 

EFCC Questions Oduah Over Corruption Allegations

File photo

 

A former minister of Aviation, Stella Oduah, was questioned by officials of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Monday over allegations of corruption.

Channels Television gathered that Ms Oduah, who represents Anambra North Senatorial District at the National Assembly, arrived at the headquarters of the anti-graft agency in Abuja earlier today.

She is being grilled over contracts awarded for the remodelling of some airports in the country while serving as aviation minister under former President Goodluck Jonathan.

Contracts totalling about N9billion are said to have been awarded for the installation of security equipment at the various airports.

She is expected to return to the EFCC office for further questioning on Tuesday, February 27.

Court Adjourns Suit Against Stella Oduah

A Federal High Court Sitting in Lagos, has adjourned the hearing of a suit filed by Sterling Bank against a former Aviation Minister, Sen. Stella Oduah, over alleged indebtedness, till November 8, 2017.

The bank alleged that Oduah and her company, Sea Petroleum and Gas company Ltd, were indebted to it in the sums of 16.4 million dollars and N100.5 million.

The suit which was earlier adjourned for hearing of all pending applications, was on Thursday, further fixed for November 8, due to the absence of the trial judge, Justice Ayokunle Faji.

A new date was therefore, given to the lawyers in the matter.

The suit was initially pending before Justice Abdulaziz Anka of the same court, but was eventually, reassigned to Justice Faji to begin afresh.

In March, Justice Anka had issued an order, restraining Oduah and her companies, from making any withdrawal from its account and those of three other companies domiciled with 21 banks in the country.

The other companies include: Sea Shipping Agency Ltd, Rotary Engineering Services Ltd, and Tour Afrique Company Ltd.

The court had also issued an order directing the said commercial banks harbouring the assets of Oduah and the four companies to sequestrate their indebtedness as at November 2016.

The court had also ordered that the money be kept in an interest yielding account in the name of the chief Registrar of the Federal court, pending the determination of the suit.

In an affidavit in support of the suit, deposed to by a staff of Sterling Bank, Mr Segun Akinsanya, the bank averred that on Oct. 8, 2012, it granted a lease/Cabotage Vessel Finance Facility (CVFF) to Sea Petroleum and Gas Company.

He said that the facility was in the said sums to finance one unit 5,000 MT tanker vessel.

He averred that the loan was secured by an unconditional personal guarantee of the companies’ director, Princess Stella Oduah.

Akinsanya also averred that same was supported by a statement of her net worth, legal mortgage of two properties worth N135 billion, and a power of Attorney of the tanker vessel in favour of Sterling Bank.

He averred that also in support was a fully executed standing payment order and tripartite remittance agreement between it and Oduah.
It was further averred that on June 27, 2013, Sea Petroleum Company requested and was granted additional facilities in the sum of about 450,000 dollars for post-delivery expenses.

He said that also granted was about 993, 000 dollars to meet the requisite conditions in securing the release of the tanker.

Also, he averred that upon the persistent failure of the defendants to liquidate their indebtedness, Sterling Bank instructed its counsels to recover the debt.

He said that in spite of several reminders, and demands, the defendants had failed and refused to liquidate their indebtedness which had culminated to 16.4 million dollars, and about N100.5 million as at November 2016.

He averred that there was imminent risk of the defendants dissipating the assets of the companies, and had urged the court to issue a restraining order.

Meanwhile, Oduah and her companies in its processes, had urged the court to discharge the order made against them.

They had also filed a preliminary objection to the suit, urging the court to strike it out for lack of jurisdiction

Court Dismisses Oduah’s Rights Enforcement Suit

Stella-Oduah-SenatorA Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has dismissed a fundamental rights enforcement suit filed by a former Minister of Aviation, Stella Oduah, against the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and three others.

The suit was dismissed for want of jurisdiction on Wednesday after the court had postponed its judgment twice.

Justice Okon Abang, who has since been transferred to the Abuja division of the court returned to Lagos to deliver the judgment in line with the new provisions of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act.

The judge ordered the former Minister to pay a cost of 15,000 Naira to the AGF.

Mrs Oduah had filed the suit in August last year, urging the court to restrain agencies of the Federal Government from questioning or prosecuting her over the purchase of two armoured BMW vehicles at a cost of 255 million Naira by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority under her watch as the Aviation Minister in 2013.

In her suit, Oduah claimed to have already been probed and exonerated by the House of Representatives Committee on Aviation and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and urged Justice Abang to declare that any further probe would amount to violating her fundamental rights.

The respondents in the suit were the AGF, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission and the Inspector General of Police.

Oduah alleged that the ruling All Progressives Congress intended to use the respondents to persecute her, being a prominent member of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party.

She claimed that the Federal Government had perfected plans to try prominent members of the PDP on trumped up charges in a special Lagos State High Court, so as to turn the country into a one-party state.

She begged the court to restrain the respondents from unleashing repression against her.

But the EFCC denied doing the bidding of the APC, claiming that it was independent.

It furnished the court with a petition dated October 18, 2013 written by a lawyer from the chambers of Mr Femi Falana, calling for Oduah’s investigation.

According to the EFCC, the said petition was captioned: “Request for Investigation of Economic and Financial Crimes of the sum of 255 million Naira by Aviation Minister, Ms Stella Oduah”.

The EFCC urged the court to dismiss Oduah’s suit.

But in his judgment, Justice Abang dismissed the EFCC’s objection for not complying with ‘Order Eight Rule One’ of the Fundamental Rights Enforcement Procedure.

“The EFCC did not file any opposition in line with the law,” Justice Abang held.

The judge, however, upheld the preliminary objection filed by the AGF, who challenged the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court in Lagos to entertain Oduah’s suit.

Counsel for the AGF, T.A. Gazali, had contended that since the rights violation that Oduah alleged did not happen in Lagos, it would be a violation of Section 46 (1) of the constitution and Order Two Rule One of the Fundamental Rights Enforcement Procedure to entertain the case in Lagos.

“From the whole of the applicant’s averments, there is nowhere she mentioned that her right was or is being breached by the respondents within the territorial space called Lagos.

“There is nothing to show that the applicant was invited, arrested or detained in Lagos by any of the respondents in the suit.

“The Federal High Court sitting in Lagos cannot assume jurisdiction to entertain alleged breach of fundamental rights that did not take place in Lagos State,” Gazali argued.

Justice Abang upheld Gazali’s argument and dismissed Oduah’s case.

The judge also held that if the Federal Government had any valid reason to arraign Oduah in a Lagos State High Court as she alleged, it would not amount a violation of her right.

Meanwhile, in another judgment, Justice Abang also refused a prayer to stop the EFCC and the Department of State Services from arresting and probing a former Special Adviser to former President Goodluck Jonathan on Niger Delta Affairs and the Chairman of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, Kingsley Kuku.

The judge dismissed Kuku’s suit for lacking in merit, but restrained the respondents from detaining him beyond 48 hours in contravention of Section 35(4) (5) of the Constitution.

Court Fails To Give Judgment In Stella Oduah’s Case

Stella-Oduah-SenatorA Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has again failed to deliver judgment in the suit filed by a former Minister of Aviation, Stella Oduah, seeking the enforcement of her fundamental rights.

Justice Okon Abang, who has been transferred to the Abuja division of the court, was in Lagos but he informed parties that the judgment was not ready owing to the workload of the court.

He, therefore, adjourned the judgment till February 17, pointing out that the 90 days stipulated for delivery of the judgment had not elapsed.

The applicant, Mrs Stella Oduah, who is also a Senator, had filed the suit in August, 2015, seeking the enforcement of her fundamental rights as guaranteed under the constitution.

In the suit, Mrs Oduah asked the court to make an order, restraining the respondents from probing her over the purchase of two armoured BMW by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority under her watch in 2013.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC), The Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and the Inspector General of Police are joined as respondents in the suit.

Mrs Oduah contends that the respondents had planned to unleash repression on her, and try her on trumped up charges.

She asked the court to restrain the respondents from persecuting and humiliating her, under the guise of an anti-graft war.

On August 26, 2015, during the court’s vacation, the vacation judge, Justice Mohammed Yunusa, issued an order of interim injunction, restraining the respondents and defendants from taking any action pending the final determination of the suit.

Meanwhile, the AGF and EFCC had in a counter affidavit, urged the court to dismiss the applicant’s suit for lack of merit.

They described the applicant’s claims as baseless and speculative, arguing that the claims could not be justified.

On December 1, 2015, Justice Abang adjourned the case for judgment, after lawyers representing the parties adopted their written addresses before the court.

Anambra PDP: Pro-Oguebego Candidates Demand Certificates Of Return

AnambraArising from the Supreme Court judgement that affirmed Mr Ejike Oguebego as the Anambra State Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), senatorial candidates of the pro-Oguebego faction are asking INEC to issue them certificates of return.

Both Mr Chris Uba and the other two senatorial candidates on the list submitted to INEC as candidates to the election are asking the electoral umpire to issue them certificates of return.

The Anambra South Senatorial Candidate, Chris Uba said, “The judgment of the Supreme Court is very straight forward. It is for INEC to issue us our certificate of return.”

“INEC should do the needful next week, we cannot waste any more time. My lawyers are not wasting time. I can personally go there and demand my certificate because it is my right,” said the Anambra North Senatorial Candidate,  John Emeka.

The Anambra Central Senatorial Candidate, Mr Annie Okonkwo, explained why they believe they are the authentic candidates of the party, recognized by the party exco in the state.

“The party submitted our names, INEC published these names. The deadline of substitution had passed; you cannot change or remove any candidate and there was no death.

“INEC already finished what they were supposed to do, then our names were removed few days to the election after we had finished campaigning for the elections,” he stated.

We Remain Senators

AnambraThis request is coming at a time when senators already representing the state insist that the apex court judgement had nothing to do with them.

Senator Andy Uba had said in an earlier interview with Channels Television that the primary election for senatorial candidates of the PDP in Anambra State was conducted at the national level and not by the state exco.

Therefore, he remains the Senator representing Anambra South in the Senate.

Former Aviation Minister, Stella Oduah, also debunked reports that the Supreme Court has nullified her election into the Senate based on interpretations of the Supreme Court ruling.

AnambraThere had been reports earlier on Friday that the Supreme Court had sacked the two Senators from Anambra State nearly two months after a third Senator from the state, Uche Ekwunife, was sacked.

Oduah said, “In all its entirety, it is false. I have gone through the court judgment and the judge clearly did not give any judgement to that effect.

“Indeed, what the judgment and the case is all about is state exco and as we all know, state exco do not do election, neither do they submit list.

“So the issue of emergence of candidate, and the issue of candidates that won election was not the issue of this particular case.”

Andy Uba Insists He Is Still Anambra South Senator

Andy UbaSenator Andy Uba says the primary election for senatorial candidates of the PDP in Anambra State was conducted at the national level and not by the state exco.

Therefore, he remains the Senator representing Anambra South in the Senate.

This was in reaction to the report that the Supreme Court had sacked two Senators from Anambra State, Stella Oduah and Andy Uba, nearly two months after a third Senator from the state, Uche Ekwunife, was sacked.

Just like her colleague, Stella Odua had earlier said, Mr Andy Uba also told Channels Television that the Supreme Court judgment which re-affirmed Ejike Oguebego as Anambra PDP Chairman does not affect their seats in the National Assembly.

“It is the national that conducts primaries, not the state. So the issue of him being the one that we came under does not exist,” Uba said.

Asides reaffirming the chairmanship of Oguebego, the Supreme Court also declared the list of candidates submitted by the Ken Emekayi-faction illegal.

Mr Uba said, “The judgment is very clear. The Supreme Court did not get into the issue of nomination or who is supposed to be sitting in the Senate. All they did was to deal with the issue of who is the authentic chairman of PDP.”

He noted, “When he went to court, Ejike Oguebego was not discussing the primaries or who the candidate was. What he wanted was for him to be restored as Chairman of PDP.

“Court did not say that we were being removed or it affected our seats as Senators of the Federal Republic or members of the National Assembly.”

Senator Uba also explained that a consequential order was not made in regards to the case.

“If the Supreme Court thought that we were wrong in where we are or that we came through a false means they would have made a consequential order to remove us,” he affirmed.

 

Stella Oduah Debunks Reports Of Supreme Court Sacking

Stella OduahAnambra Senator and Former Aviation Minister, Stella Oduah, has debunked reports that the Supreme Court has nullified her election into the Senate.

There had been reports earlier on Friday that the Supreme Court had sacked two Senators from Anambra State, Stella Oduah and Andy Uba, nearly two months after a third Senator from the state, Uche Ekwunife, was sacked.

This was following the Supreme Court ruling which re-affirmed the chairmanship of Ejike Oguebego as the authentic State Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Anambra State.

The Supreme Court also declared the list of candidates submitted by the Ken Emekayi-faction illegal.

But in an interview with Channels Television to clarify the implication of the judgement on her election into the Senate, Oduah said, “In all its entirety, it is false.

“I have gone through the court judgment and the judge clearly did not give any judgement to that effect.

“Indeed, what the judgment and the case is all about is state exco and as we all know, state exco do not do election, neither do they submit list.

“So the issue of emergence of candidate, and the issue of candidates that won election was not the issue of this particular case.”

She added that there is a “sister case” for which the Supreme Court has given a similar judgment but they were not related.

“The Judge was very clear on its judgment and it clearly says its not about who emerges or the election but about the legality of the excos,” she said.

Oduah was a former Aviation Minister, who resigned her position to pursue her political ambition while Mr Uba was a former Special Adviser to former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Domestic Affairs.

All the Senators from Anambra State, including Mrs Ekwunife, emerged on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Oduah said that she was initially baffled when the news of her supposed sacking reached her.

“I was shocked because I knew we went through the right process and its only national executive that submits list to INEC. So the judgment was not against us the candidates of PDP.”

The Anambra State PDP Chairman, Mr Oguebego, had sued on behalf of themselves and others including Mr Chris Uba, who is the Anambra South Senatori­al Zone candidate for the apex court to determine who were the legal and validly nominated can­didates of the party to stand for the last general elections for the party in the state.

Going by the ruling, the list of nominated party candidates in the last election from the Oguebego-led executive of the Anambra PDP is the only one to be recognised by the INEC.

Court To Deliver Judgement On Stella Oduah’s Suit

stella_oduahA Federal High Court in Lagos has fixed January 25, 2016 to deliver judgment in the fundamental rights enforcement suit filed by a former Minister of Aviation, Mrs Stella Oduah, seeking to stop an alleged plan to prosecute her over the two armoured BMW cars allegedly purchased for 255 million Naira.

The vehicles are alleged to have been bought by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority in 2013 during her tenure.

Justice Okon Abang adjourned for judgment on Tuesday after entertaining arguments from the parties in the suit.

Fighting An Anti-graft War

Oduah had sued the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission; the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission, the Attorney General of the Federation and the Inspector General of Police.

She claimed that the ruling All Progressives Congress’ government had perfected plans to use the defendants to persecute and humiliate her under the guise of fighting an anti-graft war.

She also alleged that the APC government had perfected plans to prosecute prominent members of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, including herself, on trumped-up charges in a Lagos State government-controlled court.

She urged the court to stop the defendants from being used against her by the Federal Government.

She had on August 26, 2015 obtained an order of interim injunction from Justice Mohammed Yunusa restraining the defendants from taking any action against her pending the final determination of the suit.

But the AGF and the Inspector General of Police filed a preliminary objection, contending that Oduah failed to establish any cause of action against them, having not proved that she had been invited, arrested or detained by the AGF and the IGP.

They also challenged the jurisdiction of the Lagos division of the Federal High Court to hear Oduah’s suit on the grounds that the alleged rights violation did not take place in Lagos.

They further contended that by virtue of Section 46(1) of the constitution and Order 2 Rule 1 of the Fundamental Rights Enforcement Procedure, only a court within the state where Oduah’s rights were allegedly violated could hear the case.

The EFCC, had also described Oduah’s suit as baseless and speculative.

Court Dismisses FOI Request On Stella Oduah’s BMW Cars

Stella OduahA Federal High Court sitting Lagos has struck out the Freedom of Information suit filed by the incorporated trustees of the Media Right Agenda (MRA), demanding information about the controversial armoured BMW cars purchased for former minister, Stella Oduah, when she was in office.

MRA had filed the action seeking to compel the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and the Attorney-General of the Federation to disclose information on the procurement of the controversial BMW cars bought for former Aviation Minister, Princess Stella Oduah.

MRA had sought a relief to the effect that the failure and or refusal of NCAA to disclose or make available to the applicants the information requested in their letter dated October 21, 2013 amounts to violation of applicants’ right to access to information established and guaranteed by section 1(1) and section 4(a) of the Freedom of Information Act 2011.

The letter had requested for NCAA’s annual budget, the public procurement plans, procurement record for the purchase of two BMW 760 LI vehicles, evidence of advertisements to that effect, a list of bids tendered, copies of bid evaluation meetings, pro forma invoice of those documents as well as documents showing delivery of procured vehicles among other things.

They insisted that the information requested for, apart from not being exempted from disclosure under the FOI Act, bothers on an issue of national interest, public concern, social justice, good governance, transparency and accountability.

The NCAA, in its objections, said that the applicants did not meet up with certain condition precedent before instituting an action against the respondents. He also argued that the FOI applications failed to issue the 30 days notice required by section 24(2) of the Civil Aviation Act 2006 among other objections. He then urged the court to strike out the suit for lack of jurisdiction.

Justice Ibrahim Buba, in his decision, ruled that the information requested went outside the contemplation of the Freedom of Information Act.

He also held that the requested information is a published material that falls under the exception stated in section 26(a) of the Freedom of Information Act and that the budgetary allocation for the referred procurement process was contained in the 2013 budget of the Federal Government of Nigeria.

Players In Aviation Industry Bestow 4th Excellence Award On Stella Oduah

Stella OduahKey players in the aviation sector hosted by FINUM Aviation Services gathered at the Oriental Hotel to celebrate the achievements of former Aviation Minister, Stella Oduah and bestow upon her an Excellence Award.

One of Nigeria’s past Aviation Ministers, Felix Hyat, who was the chairman of the occasion lauded Oduah’s innovative changes in the sector.

Guests including the Special Adviser to the President on Aviation, Ann Ene Attah, Ruth Benamesia-Opia, Nneka Isaac-Moses and Metch Isaac Moses of Goge Africa, the Director of Airport Operations, FAAN, Captain Henry Omeogu, were thrilled by coemdians, Gordons, Klint Da Drunk and MC Shakara.