A Federal High in Lagos has further adjourned till November 16, 2015, to hear a fundamental rights enforcement suit filed by a former Minister of Aviation, Mrs. Stella Oduah.
Oduah is seeking protection of the court from possible probe over the purchase of two armoured BMW cars at a cost of N160m in 2013 by the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority under her watch.
She had on August 26, 2015, obtained an interim injunction barring the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission from taking any action against her, pending the determination of the suit.
Though, after granting the interim injunction on August 26, Justice Mohammed Yunusa adjourned hearing of the main case till October 2, 2015, the matter was however listed for hearing on Wednesday.
It was learnt that questions had trailed the granting of the interim order, necessitating the hearing of the case before the original adjourned date.
But when the case was called on Wednesday, Oduah, EFCC and the Inspector General of Police were not represented in court.
Only the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission was represented by its counsel, Funmilola Oluborode.
The ICPC’s counsel said hearing notice was not issued on the commission, adding that she only came to court on the instruction of one of her superiors, who had on Tuesday sighted the case on the case list for Wednesday.
In view of the absence of the other parties, Oluborode sought an adjournment till November 16.
The counsel, who said the ICPC had yet to file any response to Oduah’s suit, begged the court to adjourn the case to enable the commission file its defence.
Though the court pointed out that the suit was a fundamental rights enforcement suit which deserved urgent hearing, the ICPC counsel begged the court to adjourn till November to enable her superior appear in court in person to defend the case.
Yunusa consequently adjourned hearing of the suit till November 16, 2015.
Oduah, who is currently in the Senate representing Anambra North Senatorial District, had approached the court, claiming that the current government under the guise of anti-graft war, was making moves to persecute and humiliate her.
She claimed that the All Progressives Congress government had perfected plans to try prominent members of the Peoples Democratic Party, including herself, on trumped up charges in a Lagos State Government-controlled court.
According to her, this ploy was to depopulate the PDP, so that Nigeria could become a one-party country.
She said unless the EFCC, ICPC and the AIG were barred, they would be used by the APC government to unleash a repression against her and other prominent PDP members, a situation that could “cause the country to recede to a one-party state, with gross adverse effects and irreparable damage to our nascent democracy.”
She said her persecution, which began in the build-up to the 2015 general elections, was spearheaded by the Governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Tambuwal, who was then Speaker of the House of Representatives and the Chairman House’s Aviation Committee.
According to Oduah, the All Progressives Congress, in a desperate bid to capture power, began a campaign of calumny by demonising the most visible leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party, including herself and others who were seen as pivotal to the re-election bid of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan.
She said as part of the APC’s campaign of calumny, the party’s leadership commissioned some faceless organisations to write letters to the House of Representatives Committee on Aviation, accusing her of all manners of corrupt practices and offences in respect of her stewardship as the Minister of Aviation.