The scheduled arraignment of a former Minister of Aviation, Senator Stella Oduah, before Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court Abuja, was on Monday stalled.
Oduah, now a senator representing Anambra North Senatorial district in the Senate, was to be arraigned on a 25-count charge, along 8 other defendants.
Oduah and her co-accused persons could not take plea because of an application by one of the defence lawyers, Ogwu Onoja SAN, asking the court not to go on with the plea taking.
Onoja had told the court that their was a petition dated January 29, to the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, in respect of the charge.
The letter of complaint according to Onoja claimed that Oduah and the other defendants are being persecuted.
Onoja said having submitted the petition to the AGF, “he requested for the file but up till now, the EFCC vehemently refused to remit the file to the AGF”.
The question is: Can the AGF request for a file to review a criminal charge, and an agency will say no, Onoja queried.
“My lord, the plea cannot be taken on account of the issue at hand, Onoja said.
In view of the foregoing, Justice Ekwo said the attention of the court has been drawn to a letter that the file be remitted to the chamber of the AGF for review.
The Court said, since a statutory and constitutional issue have been raised, that it will not hear the case summarily.
Therefore, the court ordered parties to file written addresses on the issue before adjourning to February 10.