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3:37 PM AJETUNMOBI SHERIF BLOG


President Goodluck Jonathan has come under intense pressure from some powerful men to sack a “corrupt” and “reckless” Minister of Aviation, Ms. Stella Oduah, over the N255m bulletproof car scandal.

Already, President Jonathan has met with his close associates and they have concluded that Stella Oduah is a baggage that is too heavy for Jonathan to carry. “She has to go. This disgrace is too much.”

A source close to Jonathan’s inner circle in Aso Rock told Nigerian News Portal that the cash will be recovered. I hear that Stella Oduah is seriously begging Patience Jonathan to save her job and her face.

The call for the minister’s removal followed the ministry’s confirmation on Wednesday that the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority bought two bulletproof vehicles worth $1.6m (N255m) for Stella Oduah.

The NCAA had on Friday claimed that the cars were in its possession and are used to “convey the minister and visiting foreign dignitaries.”

But this contradicted the statement of the minister’s aide, Mr. Joe Obi, who had earlier admitted that the cars were purchased because Stella Oduah’s life was in danger.

Following the development, leaders of anti-corruption groups have all said the minister’s acceptance of the cars amounted to receiving a bribe to neglect her duty, leading to the loss of lives in plane crashes.

Executive Director of CLO, Mr. Ibuchukwu Ezike, described the minister’s action as evidence of the level to which impunity had grown among public officers because of Jonathan’s inability to fight corruption.

He said, “If this happened in climes where laws are obeyed; where the credibility of processes is respected, such public officer is sacked and prosecuted. We believe that what has happened is enough reason for the minister, not only to be removed, but to be prosecuted.

“But these things happen and nothing is done. That is why we have been saying that the government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is not interested in fighting corruption.”

Similarly, the Executive Director of CACOL, Mr. Debo Adeniran, said Oduah and her accomplices should be sacked and prosecuted for corruption and negligence of duty.

He said, “Not only should Oduah be sacked, she and her accomplices should be promptly arrested, investigated, prosecuted and actually punished for such heinous crime. What she did is like taking a bribe from NCAA, which means she will no longer be able to maintain standard in aviation sector. And when standards are not maintained, all you get is that Nigerians are killed in plane crashes.”