‘Disappointed and shocked’: Aviation Minister Responds to Reps Call For Her Sack

‘Disappointed and shocked’: Aviation Minister Responds to Reps Call For Her Sack

By Wires | The Trent on December 20, 2013
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Former Nigerian Aviation Minister, Stella Oduah
Former Nigerian Aviation Minister, Stella Oduah
The House of Representatives has urged President Goodluck Jonathan to remove aviation minister, Stella Oduah, over the minister’s role in the purchase of two armoured cars at a price N255 million.
Leaked documents published in October 2013 showed Mrs. Oduah authorised the purchase, done by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) in breach of Appropriation Act, and public procurement regulations, as the contract was not listed in government budget and was not open to the public.
Investigation ordered by the House of Representatives unearthed several anomalies with the contract including how the supplier, Coscharis Motors, lied to the office of the National Security Adviser, to obtain approval for the importation of the bulletproof cars.
Lawmakers also found that in authorising the purchase at N255 million, Mrs. Oduah exceeded the approval limit which stood at N100 million.
The contract sum was also found sufficient to purchase four of the same specification.
But the minister insisted she followed the law in allowing the contract.
The House committee on aviation, which probed the scandal, concluded the minister breached relevant laws and urged the president to “review the continued engagement” of Mrs. Oduah. That proposal was approved by House on Thursday.
The resolution followed the consideration and adoption of the report submitted by the committee.
The house also directed the NCAA to immediately terminate all transactions and loan agreement with First Bank of Nigeria, the financier of the project.
The House also approved the sanction of former NCAA Acting Director-General, Nkemakolam Joyce, and the Director of Finance, S. Ozigi, who originated the contract.
Lawmakers urged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC, and other anti-corruption agencies, to further investigate the supplier, Coscharis, over the discrepancies in the chassis number DW68032 of the vehicles.
Mrs. Oduah said in a statement she was “disappointed and shocked” with the report and said it was “pre-meditated” to indict her.

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