The senator representing Anambra north on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Stella Oduah, has described as a malicious and fictitious rumour, reports by an online medium that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) discovered the sum of N2.5billion in an account opened in the name of one of her housemaids.
It was reported here that an unnamed influential female minister under the past administration made herself the sole signatory to the bank account, which was opened using her maid’s passport.
Sahara Reporters, however, identified the unnamed minister as Sen. Oduah, who was Aviation Minister and one of the influential cabinet members during the Goodluck Jonathan administration.
In a statement issued by Francisca Onyeisi, head of communications in her office, the former minister rubbished the report as totally false, baseless and at best the imagination of the online platform, which she accused of extorting and blackmailing leaders in a continuous attempt by its paymasters to break the rank of senators of the 8th Assembly.
The statement reads: “Over the past few months, the once respected online platform, Sahara Reporters has continued to surpass itself by continuously sinking to an all-time low of posting uncorroborated reports to mislead Nigerians to promote the agenda of certain elements who’s fight against corruption can only been seen on pages of newspaper and pockets of their media spinners while millions of Nigerians remain unemployed and hundreds of thousands of kids go to bed hungry day in day out.
“The online platform claimed their sources in the EFCC said a whopping N5.6 billion must have been stolen, then went further to contradict itself that the agency had determined it was N3.6 billion then again reduced it to N2.5 billion in the same publication. The distinguish Senator laments the despicable low that Sahara Reporters has drawn the reputable profession of journalism too which unfortunately unsuspecting platforms will copy and paste on theirs without even lifting a pen to confirm the story”.
Sen. Oduah went further to question the integrity of the report by the online platform, saying if such an account truly exists and is still operational, the anti-graft agency would have come after her especially at a time when the EFCC is “freezing accounts and going after opposition governors, who enjoy same level of immunity as the president”.
The statement further berated the online platform for its penchant for lies and spurious allegations, saying it may have made another calculated attempt to taint the “enviable record and achievements of the distinguished senator, who had made a mark in oil/gas and agricultural businesses before joining politics”.
It also challenged Sahara Reporters to produce evidence of the “imaginary account” of the supposed housemaid to members of the public.
The statement noted that Senator Oduah never asked or try to meet with the EFCC Chairman, Ibrahim Magu, over the alleged account, adding that Oduah made a name for herself during her tenure as a minister instituting serious reforms in the aviation sector and in last one year as a Distinguish Senator, raised series of important Bills and Motions to help strengthen the Nigerian Economy and our institutions.
“Senator Stella Oduah, who is currently in her constituency thanked her supporters and well-wishers who have reached out to vent their frustrations at the unethical behavior of the tabloid assured (sic) them that there is nothing to worry about, restating that no such account exist and challenged Sahara reporters to present details of their funding and how the platform is able to afford a property in choice area of Maitama in Abuja”, the statement concluded.