Connect with us

#Stellagate: EFCC grills Stella Oduah for over five hours

Today's Scoops

#Stellagate: EFCC grills Stella Oduah for over five hours

by Dare Lawal

Nigeria’s former aviation minister, Stella Oduah, was on Wednesday quizzed for over five hours by operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission at their  Idiagbon House headquarters  in  Abuja.

According to reports, Oduah  arrived at Idiagbon House around 10am and left at 3.30pm after being granted a provisional bail. She responded to questions and later wrote a statement about her role in the the purchase of two BMW bulletproof cars by the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority at a sum of N255m.

Here’s The Punch report on the incident:

The  Intelligence and Special Operations  Section of the commission  was  instructed to ensure an  in-depth investigation of the scandal.

It was  further gathered that one Mr. Chike of ‘Team 3’ of the Intelligence and Special Operations Section    led the team of investigators that grilled Oduah.

Our source said, “The former  minister, Ms.  Oduah, was today(Wednesday) quizzed for more than five hours by operatives of the EFCC.

“The ex-minister arrived at  the Commission at about 10am today, Wednesday, April 2 and left  at 3.30pm.

“She was granted  a  provisional bail after making useful statement that will assist the investigation of the scandal.

“The Intelligence and Special Operations Unit is in charge of the case. Chike, who belongs to ‘Team 3’ led the team of investigators  on Wednesday.

“He is the head of the team of investigators handling the case but he reports to the sectional head of ISOS, Mr. Abdul Suleiman.”

The EFCC had said repeatedly that the bulletproof car scandal known as Oduahgate,  was being investigated but it  had  refused to say when the ex-minister   would be interrogated.

The Head of Media and Publicity of the EFCC, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, had said that it was not in the character of the EFCC to inform those to be interrogated in advance.

The purchase of the cars at a whopping N255m had sparked a nationwide controversy which culminated in the removal of Oduah  on February 12, 2014.

Prior to her exit from the Federal Executive Council, the House of Representatives Committee on Aviation had come up with a report  which  was endorsed by the House on December 19, 2013.

The committee had  recommended  a review  of Oduah’s appointment   for approving the expenditure of N643m for the NCAA to buy 54 vehicles last year beyond her limit of N100m.

The committee also  stated that no budgetary appropriation was made for the purchase of the two BMWs.

It also noted that the proposal by the NCAA  was rejected and wondered why the erstwhile  minister allowed the agency  to carry on with the purchase of the vehicles.

The spokesperson   for the House, Mr. Zackary Mohammed, had explained that the lawmakers wanted the minister sacked.

He said, “The word  ‘review’ here means a change in status. It is a mild way of saying that Mr. President should sack the minister.”

President Goodluck  Jonathan had  also set up a committee to investigate the   purchase of the cars , but the findings of the  panel  which indicted the minister were not implemented.

The EFCC had in November  interrogated five  top officials of the NCAA  over the  N255m car scandal.

It was learnt that they were asked to write statements on their involvement in the scandal and thereafter asked  a few questions.

A source had   said, “The commission interrogated   five top officials of the NCAA. But we  will   not stop  with the NCAA, our investigators will also interrogate some officials of FAAN.”

Click to comment
To Top