Controversy Surrounds Charges Filed Against Senator Stella Oduah as EFCC Disowns Lawyer

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Controversy Surrounds Charges Filed Against Senator Stella Oduah as EFCC Disowns Lawyer
EFCC Rejects Lawyer’s Role in Prosecuting Senator Stella Oduah for Perjury and Document Falsification

In a surprising turn of events, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) disowned lawyer Ibrahim Mohammed, who filed fresh charges against Senator Stella Oduah. The charges leveled against Oduah include perjury and document falsification, but the EFCC claims that Mohammed acted independently and was not authorized to prosecute on their behalf.

During the proceedings before Justice James Omotosho at the Federal High Court in Abuja on Tuesday, EFCC’s counsel, H. A. Okonofua, made it clear that Mohammed was not delegated by the commission to pursue the case against Oduah, who stands as the sole defendant in the matter.

Although neither Mohammed nor Oduah were present in court for the resumed hearing, Okonofua informed the judge that the investigation report conducted by the anti-corruption agency had been completed.

Okonofua stated, “The counsel, Ibrahim Mohammed, was de-seconded back to the Nigeria Police on November 14, 2022, and he was not sent to represent the EFCC to prosecute the defendant,” referring to the charge that Mohammed filed in June.

Justice Omotosho raised the issue that the investigation report had not been presented before the court.

The lawyer acknowledged that the report had been submitted late.

Consequently, the judge adjourned the case until October 4, allowing time for the investigation report to be presented in court.

To recall, the EFCC had scheduled Oduah’s arraignment before Justice Omotosho the following day, where she faced allegations of perjury and document falsification.

Oduah, a former lawmaker who represented Anambra North Senatorial District in the 9th National Assembly, is accused of misrepresenting information regarding her participation in the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) and the possession of a corresponding certificate.

The charges against Oduah further allege that she falsified documents to gain access to various public offices, including her positions as a minister and a senator.

However, on July 11, when the arraignment was initially scheduled, Mohammed, a police officer who appeared on behalf of the EFCC, admitted to an error in filing the charges in the name of the anti-graft agency.

Mohammed informed the court that although he had been seconded to the EFCC, he was redeployed to the Force Headquarters in November of the previous year.

He clarified that it was a mistake on his part to sign the charges in the name of the EFCC Office in Benin.

Consequently, the judge ordered Mohammed’s arrest and requested an investigation by the EFCC into the matter.

The case continues to attract attention as the EFCC distances itself from the charges brought against Senator Stella Oduah, raising questions about the legal processes and the authenticity of the allegations.

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