Aviation Minister, Stella Oduah in another car scandal; ...4 Toyota Tundras & 4 limousines bought by NAMA
The latest report by SaharaReporters, an online news source, alleged that the National Airspace Management Agency, NAMA, an agency under the Ministry of Aviation, also bought four Toyota Tundra vehicles for Oduah at an unspecified amount of money.
The same medium had on 15 October revealed the BMW purchase by the cash-strapped Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA.
The revelations triggered outrage and condemnation with many calling on Oduah to resign or be fired by President Goodluck Jonathan for corruption, mismanagement and breach of trust.
The new report alleged that the four vehicles are an addition to four limousines purportedly purchased for the movement of VIPs.
Photographs show the Limousines parked at the headquarters of the Total Radar Coverage of Nigeria, TRACON, in Abuja today.
NAMA in a reaction admitted that the vehicles are parked within its premises in Abuja but said they belong to an unnamed person.
“The cars are parked within our premises but they do not belong to us. They belong to someone who will address the press and unveil his identity soon,” an official at NAMA said, pleading anonymity.
Supo Atobatele, spokesperson at NAMA was not available for comments.
The new report said NAMA’s CEO, Nnamdi Udo, reportedly made the purchase and ‘donation’ of the Tundras to Stella Oduah in June this year while the four Limousines were received in the third week of June but have not been put to use.
Last week after the story of the two over priced BMW cars was published, Oduah’s aides scurried to dismiss it. They later owned up when the evidence was overwhelming.
Joe Obi, spokesperson to Oduah, said the cars were bought because the minister’s life was in danger following her so-called transformation agenda in the aviation industry.
However, following anger and condemnation, the Director General of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, Fola Akinkuotu, claimed the vehicles were meant for VIP movement.
A former lawmaker and leader of Anti-Corruption Network, Dino Melaye, has said it is the duty of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to transport international VIPs in Nigeria.
The minister has been battling a number of challenges in the aviation sector before the latest corruption-related reports which threaten to tear her reputation apart.
Meanwhile, reports said Stella Oduah left Nigeria early today for undisclosed reasons.
When contacted, Joe Obi, the minister spokesperson said there was no ban on the minister to travel out of Nigeria.
Yakubu Dati, spokesperson of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria who often spoke for Oduah, said he could not confirm the information since he was in Togo.
“What I can however say is that with Dino Melaye going to protest at the ministry of aviation tomorrow in Abuja, it shows the witch-hunt against Oduah is political. It’s from APC,” he said.