The minister of Aviation, Stella Oduah, whose name has continued to dominate local media headlines for her highly priced security vehicles, may soon be arrested.
A member of the House of Representatives Committee on Aviation, Zakari Lafia Mohammed, in an interview with Vanguard, warned that a bench warrant could be issued on the minister if she failed to appear before it to defend herself.
The committee is investigating the inappropriate purchase of two armoured cars for the minister at N255 million.
The committee’s invitation to the minister has not been honoured as Oduah travelled to Israel on the official delegation of President Goodluck Jonathan.
Interestingly, Jonathan set up an administrative probe of the controversial vehicles purchase before his trip abroad.
“This is a national issue that must be properly thrashed out with the zeal of a wounded lion. If need be, we will ask the Speaker to issue a bench warrant immediately she fails to show up and she will be arrested,” Mohammed is quoted as saying.
Speaking further, Mohammed said: “We’ve given her enough grace…All those excuses given on her behalf will not hold by the time we conclude our findings.”
He said that the committee will ensure that all necessary avenues are explored to deliver justice to Nigerians on reckless spending in government.
According to him the House approved the purchase only five Toyota Pickup Hilux, 16 Toyota Corolla, five Toyota Landcruiser Jeeps, three Toyota Hiace buses all at a cost of N240 million, “but they eventually bought 54 vehicles through the bank lease for the sum of N643 million which was financed by the bank.”
He insisted that there was no time the issue of a lease was discussed during the budget defence, adding: “I do not want to preclude this investigative hearing but we will dis-passionately seek justice for all Nigerians through this investigation. Never again in the history of Nigeria will public servants take Nigerians for a ride”.
The committee on Aviation has rescheduled its public hearing on the matter which was to hold today to Wednesday.
According to a statement issued by the clerk of the committee, Abubakar Chana, the shift is to allow enough time for the invited agencies to put their documents together.