Mar. 26, 2014
At a time, Nigerians are still furious about the use of chattered private jet by incumbent Petroleum Minister, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, another discovery has been made.
The Minister is accused of maintaining a second jet, a Global Express XRS plane, specifically for her private and official trips.
A return trip on the XRS plane allegedly costs taxpayers €600,000.
It would be recalled that the House ordered an investigation into the use of a Challenger 850, which findings show gulped N10bn in the last two years.
According to The Punch, owners of Challenger 850 might have fled the country shortly after the House ordered an investigation into the transaction between them and Alison-Madueke.
Speaking on the issue, the Chairman of the committee, Mr. Solomon Olamilekan, told the paper he was “shocked by the latest information.”
“We have heard that the owners of the Challenger have hurriedly left the country. The information is just reaching the committee; but, we are still holding our preliminary meetings,” he stated.
Olamilekan, who confirmed that the committee had uncovered a second jet, added that they were trying to establish how many trips it made outside the country.
“We are still holding our preliminary meetings. We have to put all the facts together and agree on the mode of the hearing first.
“The question on when to invite the Minister will come after the meetings. We are still meeting.”
Meanwhile, document obtained by The Punch indicates that Alison-Madueke flew in Global Express XRS on two occasions in 2011.
She chartered the same jet twice in 2013 on a return trip bill of €600,000 per trip.
On March 21, 2011, she flew to London with the jet from the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja. On board with her were two people, Imotimi Agama and Haruna Momoh.
The aircraft returned to Nigeria from London on March 23, conveying the same passengers.
Another trip on March 9, 2013 departed the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos en route to London.
The passengers were Alison-Madueke, Abubakar Fari and Haruna Momoh. The jet returned to Nigeria on March 13 with the same passengers.
An angry lawmaker in his reaction said, “Nigerians deserve to know which law authorises this type of extravagance.
“Under which budgetary sub-head has she been chartering jets for her personal use?
“Where is the law that authorises a government Minister to be flying around the world in chartered private jets?
“You are going to London, why did you not not use the British Airways or any other international airline?”
It was gathered that those who accompanied Alison-Madueke on the trips would be invited by the committee.