The embattled Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah, on Thursday faulted the approval of the recommendation by the House of Representatives Committee on Aviation which indicted in the controversial purchase of two bulletproof cars at N255 million by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).
The House Aviation Committee had also recommended the minister’s removal for approving the purchase of the said vehicles at a price far above her spending limit without recourse to the National Assembly.
The House of Representatives on Thursday approved the recommendations by its aviation committee.
But Oduah, in a statement by her Special Assistant, Media, Mr. Joe Obi, wondered why the House endorsed wholesale, the recommendations of its committee that investigated the bulletproof cars purchased by the NNCAA in spite of her earlier presentations to the committee which showed that Due Process was followed in the procurement of the vehicles by the NCAA.
The statement reads in part, “We are shocked and disappointed that in spite of the deluge of representations and evidences provided by the aviation minister and all invited stakeholders on the matter, the House would reach conclusions that have only confirmed that there was a hidden agenda in the entire exercise from the beginning.
“We recall vividly the underhand tactics of the House when, 24 long hours before the report of the investigation was due to be laid before the plenary, ‘certified true copies’ were handed over to online and traditional media. The motive of those who handed the document to unauthorised persons has fully manifested in the adoption of the recommendations that have no reflection to the public hearing conducted in the full glare of Nigerians and the media.
“We stand by our earlier submissions to the committee that Due Process was followed in the procurement of the vehicles by the NCAA. The Minister told the Public Hearing; and her evidence was corroborated by the NCAA that the cars were neither purchased for her nor in her name”, she said.
“Evidence also shows that the cars in question were included as a line item under the “safety and Security vehicles” sub-head in the Appropriation Act. The position of the committee that this was not included the budget is spurious as clear evidence exists in the Appropriation Act as stated above”.
She said the action of the committee and the House was “pre-meditated with the sole aim of casting aspersion on the person and office of the Aviation Minister”.