House of Reps uncover Alison-Madueke's second jet

Fresh revelations indicated on Tuesday that Petroleum Minister, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, maintained a second jet.

The jet, a Global Express XRS plane, is allegedly chartered specifically for her private and official trips overseas.

A return trip on the XRS plane is said to cost taxpayers €600,000.

The jet is different from the Challenger 850, which the House of Representatives said gulped N10bn in the last two years to fly the minister.

The House Committee on Public Accounts stumbled on the second jet in the course of the ongoing probe into the N10bn expenditure on Challenger 850.

Findings also showed that the owners of Challenger 850 might have fled the country shortly after the House ordered an investigation into the transaction between them and Alison-Madueke.
Asked to comment on the issue, the Chairman of the committee, Mr. Solomon Olamilekan, told PUNCH correspondent that he was “shocked by the latest information.”

“We have heard that the owners of the Challenger have hurriedly left the country. The information is just reaching the committee; but, we are still holding our preliminary meetings,” he stated.
Olamilekan, who confirmed that the committee had uncovered a second jet, added that they were trying to establish how many trips it made outside the country.
“We are still holding our preliminary meetings. We have to put all the facts together and agree on the mode of the hearing first.

“The question on when to invite the minister will come after the meetings. We are still meeting.”
However, a document obtained by PUNCH in Abuja on Tuesday, indicated that Alison-Madueke flew in Global Express XRS on two occasions in 2011.

She chartered the same jet twice in 2013 on a return trip bill of €600,000 per trip.

On March 21, 2011, she flew to London with the jet from the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.

On board the jet with her were two people, Imotimi Agama and Haruna Momoh.

The aircraft returned to Nigeria from London on March 23, conveying the same passengers.

Another trip on March 9, 2013 departed the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos en route to London.

The passengers were Alison-Madueke, Abubakar Fari and Momoh. The jet returned to Nigeria on March 13 with the same passengers.

In Abuja, lawmakers are asking how a serving minister raised the money to charter jets for overseas trips at the expense of the taxpayers.

Alison-Madueke is accused of spending about €500,000 monthly to maintain the first aircraft.

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation had on Monday denied the allegation but said it had the legal right to own or charter an aircraft for its operations.