The arraignment of a former Minister of Aviation, Senator Stella Oduah, before Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court Abuja, has been stalled.
Oduah, now a Senator representing Anambra North Senatorial district in the Senate, was to be arraigned on a 25-count charge, along with 8 other defendants, all of who were present in court on Monday.
However, Oduah and her co-accused could not take the plea because of an application by one of the defence lawyers and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Ogwu Onoja asking the court not to go on with taking the plea.
Onoja, who spoke on behalf of other defendants, told the court that there 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.
According to the senior lawyer, 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.
He queried why the AGF would request for a file to review a criminal charge and the EFCC will refuse to hand it over.
Onoja added that the plea could not be taken on account of the issue at hand.
Owing to this, the court held that since a statutory and constitutional issue has been raised, it will not hear the case summarily.
The court subsequently ordered parties to file written addresses on the issue before adjourning to February 10, 2022.