Contrary to the impression created by President Goodluck Jonathan that he plans to ‘probe’ the Minister of Aviation, Stella Oduah over the fraudulent purchase of two BMW armored cars, the President and his team are working very hard to shield the Minister according to reports by Sahara reporters.
Investigations show that Mrs. Oduah was listed as one of the 54 officials that traveled within the inner circle of the President to Israel. President Jonathan however gave her the permission to travel ahead of the delegation 24 hours early under the guise that she would be signing the Bilateral Air Services Agreement (BASA) between Nigeria and Israel. As it turns out, the BASA agreement is not due for signing until October 29, following which Mr. Jonathan will depart for Nigeria.
Mrs. Oduah is also one of the ministers listed to follow the President to a meeting with President Mahmoud Abbas in the Occupied Palestinian territory, also on October 29.
Since arriving in Israel, Mr. Jonathan and several officials, including Mrs. Oduah, have occupied the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, and she has had direct access and regular meetings with the President.
Our reporters have seen her many times at meetings. An attempt by a student journalist to interview her was rebuffed as Mrs. Oduah claimed the student was a SaharaReporters journalist seeking to put her into more trouble.
Since arriving Israel, President Goodluck Jonathan has employed the services of Senator Emmanuel Paulker from his home state of Bayelsa to reach out to lawmakers to chill the ongoing investigations.
The Nigerian Senate is reportedly in alignment but the House of Representatives is seen to be a bit more aggressive, which was the reason Mr. Jonathan decided to set up a “probe panel” that would slow down the situation so that Mrs. Oduah can keep her job.
A Presidency source also revealed that President Jonathan has little regard for the probe going on at the House of Representatives, calling them “hungry people.” The implication is that they can easily be bought with money. The source said Mrs. Oduah would most likely ignore the House aviation committee subpoena for Tuesday next week
In all, the Nigeria delegation in Israel is said to be over 800 officials, which means it is considerably larger than the delegates that travelled with Mr. Jonathan to the 68th United Nations General Assembly last month, as was reported by SaharaReporters.
Among them our reporters stated that there are at least 11 governors, 8 deputy governors and 14 Ministers.
The governors include Gabriel Suswam of Benue state, Godswill Akapbio of Akwa Ibom, Liyel Imoke of Cross Rivers, Martin Elechi of Ebonyi, Theodore Orji of Abia State, Peter Obi of Anambra, Jonah Jang of Plateau and Emmanuel uduaghan of Delta State. The Bayelsa State governor whose whereabouts has been mystery is expected to join the train later tonight.
In addition to Mrs. Oduah, the Ministers are Jumoke Akinjide, (minister of state for FCT), Godsday Orube (Niger Delta), Olubolade (Police Affairs), Nyeson Wike (Education), Labaran Maku (Minister of information), the minister of Trade and investment and Fiancnae minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala are also expected to join later.
It would be recalled that the presidency announcement of the visit by spokesman Reuben Abati last Tuesday listed only Senator Paulker; the Minister of Agriculture, Mr. Akinwunmi Adesina; the Minister of Water Resources, Mrs. Sarah Ochekpe; the Minister of Works, Mike Onolememen; the Minister of State (Foreign Affairs), Prof Viola Onwuliri; and the National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki as the officials accompanying President Jonathan.
Source: Sahara Reporters