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Former Aviation Minister, Stella Oduah must face trial – Court

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A federal High Court, sitting in Lagos, has thrown out former Aviation Minister, Stella Oduah’s bid to stop her trial, on the basis of a lack of jurisdiction.

The suit, which Oduah had filed to stop her criminal prosecution by the EFCC, is a fundamental human right abuse lawsuit against the Attorney General of the Federation, the EFCC, the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) and the Inspector General of Police.

The court, on Wednesday, also ordered the ex-Minister to pay the sum of N15,000 to the Attorney General.

Oduah had alleged that the ruling party, the All Progressive Congress wanted to prosecute her because she is a member of the Peoples Democratic Party.

She had lodged a suit in August 2015, asking the court to restrain federal agencies from quizzing or prosecuting her over the infamous case involving the purchase of two armoured BMW vehicles at a cost of N255 million by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority in 2013.

The EFCC, on its part, denied that it was trying to prosecute Oduah because of her political affiliations.

The court in her ruling supported the motion by the AGF that the case was outside the jurisdiction of the court. The presiding judge, Justice Abang, stated the court cannot entertain Oduah suit because her rights wasn’t breached within the territory of 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,” The AGF lawyer had argued.

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