Oduahgate: Panel Gets Terms Of Reference

jonathan-stellaThe three-man Presidential Administrative Panel of Enquiry into the purchase of N255 million armoured cars for the Minister of Aviation, Ms Stella Oduah, has demanded transaction details from the affected ministry, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and other stakeholders.

President Goodluck Jonathan has also given the panel six terms of reference, including a mandate to ascertain whether the procurement of the vehicles followed due process or not.

The committee is made up of immediate past Head of Service of the Federation, Alhaji Sali Bello (Chairman); the National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd.) and Air Vice Marshal Dick Iruenebere (rtd.)

It was learnt that the embattled minister, who has been grilled by the House of Representatives committee on Aviation over the scandal, opted to make a written submission to the presidential panel. This is just as facts emerged that the panel had demanded and received transaction details from the Ministry of Aviation, the NCAA, First Bank of Nigeria Plc and Coscharis Motors Limited; the major players in the scandal.

A source in the panel, who spoke on the condition of anonymity said: “Well, so far, the minister has chosen to make a written submission to the panel. We have got her written memorandum to the panel.

“It is left to the panel to find out if her physical appearance is necessary or not. This will depend on facts from other stakeholders.”

Asked when the panel would submit its report, the source said: “Although the constitution of the panel was announced on October 23, members did not get their letters of appointment until October 28.

“So, if you start counting the two-week mandate, it will expire on Monday, November 11. We hope to conclude our assignment on or before the date.”

The terms of reference of the panel, according to an October 28 letter to the committee members by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, states among others:

• Examine the circumstances surrounding the purchase, particularly whether or not there were budgetary provisions for it.

• Identify all actors in the in the purchase.

• Determine the role of the Minister of Aviation, Stella Oduah, in the purchase.

• Ascertain the cost of the vehicles, its purpose and procurement process.

• Enquire into any other matters incidental to the purchase of the vehicles.

• Make appropriate recommendations in the light of its findings.

-The Nation