Oct. 21, 2013
After the Anti-Corruption Network (ACN) today met with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to submit a petition requesting a thorough probe of Aviation Minister Stella Oduah over her purchase of two armored BMW 760 Li cars worth $1.6 million, Dino Melaye, a former member of the House of Representatives, now leader of ACN, told Saharareporters that his group will storm the ministry on Wednesday to ask for the minister’s removal.
Mr. Melaye also revealed that the minister has squandered another sum of $100 million from the Bilateral Air Services Agreement (BASA) funds.
He said the planned protest will start with a convergence at the federal secretariat in Abuja. The protest will then mobilize Nigerians to oust the minister from office.
Mrs. Oduah last August forced a cash strapped agency under her supervision to purchase two armored car BMW cars for her use.
After SaharaReporters revealed the deal, the Minister’s media aide, Joe Obi, claimed that she bought the vehicles because she faced threats from interests in the aviation sector purportedly opposed to her reformation agenda.
However, the executive director of ACN said findings from the police and security agencies in Nigeria show that Mrs. Oduah never filed any complaint about any threat to her life. He further disclosed that the NCAA was not the statutory agency responsible for transporting VIPs traveling in Nigeria, saying that it was the duty of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with the assistance of the diplomatic protection unit of the Nigerian police.
Melaye gave several instances of purchase of vehicles for visiting VIPs that did not include scandalous purchase or use of armored vehicles citing the transportation of head of States of the Commonwealth as an example, where he said Messrs Coshcaris Motors Limited provided BMWs to the federal government during the regime of President Olusegun Obasanjo that were not armored to convey heads of governments of the commonwealth of nations 2003.
He also noted that recently, African Union officials were transported in Abuja using Peugeot 607 vehicles that were not armored.
Challenging the NCAA to reveal the source of the funds used in buying the vehicles, Melaye said everything involving the purchase was criminal and violated Nigeria’s appropriation laws and due process.
He therefore called on Nigerians to join the ACN massively on Wednesday to force the minister out of office. All those willing to participate are to contact either Dino Melaye on 08033146905; Ebenezer Oyetakin or 08037861193, or email [email protected]