Former Minister of Aviation and serving Senator, Stella Oduah, has dumped the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and joined the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
This is according to a statement signed by APC spokesperson, Salisu Na’inna Dambatta.
She was received at a brief ceremony in Abuja on Thursday and admitted into the party by the Chairman of the APC Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) and Govermor of Yobe State, Alhaji Mai Mala Buni and the Chairman of the Progressive Governors’ Forum, Alhaji Abubakar Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State, Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodimma and the Deputy President of the Senate, Obarisi Ovie Omo-Agege, the statement added.
The APC candidate in the November 6 governorship election in Anambra State, Senator Andy Uba, was at the occasion.
She is the latest high profile PDP member who has joined the APC recently.
In his remarks welcoming her into the fold of the APC, the Chairman of the Extraordinary/Caretaker Convention Planning Committee, Alhaji Mai Mala Buni congratulated her for joining the APC and assured her of rights as all other members of the party.
“You will enjoy the privileges enjoyed by all members of the party because you will have a waiver,” Buni said.
Oduah, during the ceremony, said that she joined the APC family as part of the process of the changing political narrative in the South East, and assured that she joined the APC along with her multitude of supporters who have been jubilating in Anambra State.
A Federal High Court in Abuja has threatened to issue a bench warrant of arrest on Former Aviation Minister, Stella Oduah over her continuous absence in court.
Justice Inyang Ekwo issued the threat on Monday, following the refusal of the former minister to honour court proceedings.
Oduah, now a Senator representing Anambra North Senatorial District in the National Assembly, was billed to be arraigned on a 25-count alongside four others.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is alleging that Oduah misappropriated public funds while serving as a minister.
Other defendants are Gloria Odita, Nwosu Emmanuel Nnamdi, Chukwuma Irene Chinyere, Global Offshore, and Marine Limited, Tip Top Global Resources Limited, Crystal Television Limited, Sobora International Limited, and China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) Nigeria Limited.
They are charged with conspiracy and money laundering as well as maintaining anonymous bank accounts.
At the resumed hearing on Monday, Counsel to the EFCC, Hassan Liman, said all the defendants have been served with the charges as ordered by the court.
He added that 32 witnesses have been lined up to testify against her and eight others with a view of establishing the fraud charges against them.
However, the former minister and the fourth defendant were not in court.
Justice Ekwo said he would fix another day for the arraignment of the defendants.
Ekwo also directed the prosecution to get their “house in order” while adding that “a warrant of arrest will be issued against any defendant that is absent from court on the day fixed for arraignment”.
The judge, therefore, fixed October 19 and 20 for the arraignment.
This is the fourth time the arraignment of the former minister has been stalled, having been previously fixed for February 9, February 22, and April 19.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is set to arraign a former Minister of Aviation, Senator Stella Oduah at the Federal High Court, Abuja, for alleged financial impropriety.
Justice Inyang Ekwo fixed February 22 for the arraignment because the former minister was yet to be served with the court processes.
Although the arraignment was listed for the day’s sitting, the case could not proceed because the lawmaker was absent as the counsel to the EFCC, Dr Hassan Liman, confirmed to the court that the ex-minister had not been served with the court processes.
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
A 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.
A 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.
Arising 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
This 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 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.
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.
Anambra 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.
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.