Aviation Minister, Princess Stella Oduah, will not be taking part in the historic signing of the Bilateral Air Services Agreement, BASA, with Israel today, according to reports.
Oduah is being probed by the Presidency and the House of Representatives over her role in the acquisition of two overpriced armoured cars valued at N255 million, with the House threatening to order her arrest if she fails to appear before it on Tuesday.
Oduah is said to have gone to Israel with the hope that she could use the opportunity of the visit to explain her position on the controversial car deal to Mr. President and take part in sealing the air deal with the country, but sources said that the President had not given the minister any opportunity to discuss the issue with him since his arrival in the Holy Land last Wednesday.
The source explained to Vanguard that the Nigerian leader decided to keep the minister out of the signing ceremony because he did not want his visit to be overshadowed by the controversy surrounding Oduah.
One source said last night that it was in a bid to keep the minister away from the limelight that she was not given any visibility since Jonathan arrived in the
country, as the president would not like to be seen as condoning corruption.
“The President is mindful of the fact that he has to project Nigeria as a country, which does not condone any form of graft and will not bring a tainted official of his administration to Tel Aviv for a serious event as the BASA signing ceremony.
“Before leaving for the Holy Land, the President had made it clear that the circumstances surrounding the purchase of the two armoured cars for the minister must be thoroughly investigated and a detailed report made for him to assure Nigerians and the international community that he does not tolerate any form of financial impropriety,” a source said.