Stella Oduah

On Wednesday, a Federal High Court in Abuja dismissed an application by a former Minister of Aviation, Stella Oduah, asking for an order to stop the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and the police from arresting her with respect to the ongoing investigation into corruption allegation against her.

Oduah had filed the fundamental rights enforcement suit, asking the court to prohibit the Attorney-General of the Federation’s office, the EFCC, and the police from “inviting, arresting, investigating or prosecuting” her over the purchase of two armoured BMW vehicles at the cost of N255m by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority under her watch as the aviation minister in 2013.

Justice Abdu Kafarati in his judgment on Wednesday upheld the objection raised by the respondents, to the effect that the court lacked the requisite jurisdiction to hear the case.
He held that that no court had the power to stop security agencies from carrying out their duty of investigation.

He said, “It is not grantable by this court because the court cannot stop security agencies from carrying out their duties. There is no way a person can be investigated without being invited by the body charged with the responsibility of investigation.

“In most cases, the invitation is even in the interest of the invitee because he or she will have the opportunity of giving his or her side of the story.

“I therefore hold that the application seeking to stop security agencies from inviting, investigating, arresting and/or prosecuting any person suspected to have committed an offence does not constitute a fundamental right action.”

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