Join APC and Walk Free! Will Stella Oduah’s Defection to the Ruling Party Save Her From N5bn Fraud Trial

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Join APC and Walk Free! Will Stella Oduah’s Defection to the Ruling Party Save Her From N5bn Fraud Trial

Join APC and Walk Free! Will Stella Oduah’s Defection to the Ruling Party Save Her From N5bn Fraud Trial
September 12
09:30 2021

Why the ex-aviation minister may walk free of EFCC’s 25-count charge

• Intrigues as the APC becomes a haven for questionable characters

There is no gainsaying the All Progressives Congress (APC) manifests an allegory. The party projects a fable in which the characters and events represent one thing while symbolically depicting a wakeless, often scary and amoral reality.

If the coronavirus pandemic was truly a classic own-goal scored by the human race against itself, then the President Muhammadu Buhari-led All Progressives Congress (APC)’s penchant for accepting controversial characters into its fold may manifest as its largest mine trap.

That the party seems to nurture a fascination for questionable characters, however, poses less worry than the likelihood of its open-door policy blowing up in its face and shattering its prospects at gifting Nigerians with the ‘change’ it promised them pre-Buhari era.

Following the controversial statement by a former Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Adams Oshiomhole, that the sins of the members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who joined the ruling party would be forgiven, the main opposition party had described the APC as a sanctuary for corrupt politicians.

Just recently, the former Minister of Aviation, Senator Stella Oduah, defected to the APC from the PDP, thus arousing speculations that the N5 billion fraud allegation against her may be forgiven.

Oduah dumped the PDP for the APC, claiming that she wanted to be part of the process of changing the political narrative in the South-east.

A statement issued by APC spokesperson, Salisu Na’inna Dambatta, had revealed that the former minister was received at a brief ceremony in Abuja and admitted into the party by the Chairman of the APC Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) and Governor of Yobe State, Alhaji Mai Mala Buni; Chairman of the Progressive Governors’ Forum, Alhaji Abubakar Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State; Imo State Governor, Senator Hope Uzodimma and the Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege.

It would be recalled that a former National Chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiomhole, had in January 2019, urged members of the opposition party to join the APC so that their sins could be forgiven.

He spoke at the APC rally in Benin City, the Edo State capital while receiving some members of the PDP into the APC during the rally.

“We have some PDP defectors. They are, Henry Tenebe, Iluobe….Iluobe means I have done something wrong. Yes, once you join the APC, your sins are forgiven,” said Oshiomhole.

Recent defections to the APC by PDP members under investigation for fraud had reportedly earned them a pardon through the backdoor.

For instance, corruption charges filed against Senator Danjuma Goje by the EFCC were dropped at the Federal High Court in Jos, Plateau State, after the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), withdrew the charges in July 2019.

Four years earlier, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had commenced probe of a former Governor of Akwa Ibom State and Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, over alleged theft of N108.1billion, following a petition forwarded to the commission by an Abuja-based lawyer and activist, Leo Ekpenyong. However, nothing has been heard about his supposed prosecution since he defected to the APC.

And just recently, the EFCC returned 48 houses seized from a former governor of Bayelsa State, and Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva, claiming that the presiding judge, Justice Adeniyi Ademola, thwarted the case in a controversial ruling.

It would be recalled that before Oduah’s defection last month, the Federal High Court in Abuja, had in July, threatened to issue a warrant for her arrest over her failure to appear in court for her N5 billion fraud trial – the case was adjourned to October 19, 2021.

Now that Oduah has defected before the October 19 trial date, pundits aver that the charges against her would be dropped.

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