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Senate Stalls, Postpones Oduah’s Appearance Indefinitely
The Senate on Thursday rescinded its resolution to summon the minister of aviation, Stella Oduah, to appear before it over the state of the aviation sector and high number of air crashes.
Oduah, who was supposed to appear before the Senate at Plenary in Abuja on Thursday, will now face the Senate Committee on Aviation at a date yet to be announced.
In a curious turn of events with no precedence, the Senate suspended the minister’s earlier scheduled appearance due to the absence of Senate President, David Mark.
The Senate Leader, Victor Ndoma-Egba, informed the legislators that the Senate President had desired to “personally” preside over the session with Oduah.
He then moved a motion for the Senate to rescind its earlier resolution summoning Oduah, saying it was pursuant to Order 53 (6) of the Senate Standing Rules.
The order states: “It shall be out of order to attempt to reconsider any specific question upon which the Senate has come to a conclusion during the current session except upon a substantive motion for rescission.”
Senate Minority Whip, Gain Solomon, seconded the motion, saying that at the executive session on November 7, senators were unanimous that the motion should be rescinded.
The senators agreed that the minister should rather appear before the Senate Committee on Aviation and relying on Order 53, Rule 6 of the Senate Standing Rules, unanimously voted for the earlier resolution to be rescinded.
The minister of aviation had been criticised over the alleged purchase of two bulletproof vehicles for her by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, at the cost of N255 million.
Meanwhile, chairman of the Senate Committee on Aviation, Hope Uzodinma, told newsmen that there was no “pressure” from the Presidency to cover up the allegation.
Uzodinma said: “I don’t know where you heard what you heard but what I had just said is the decision is in order. I think the rescinded summon is proper and it is in order and in accordance with the Senate rules,” he said.
However, Uzodinma was not forthcoming with a definite date when the minister is expected to appear before his committee.
“The timetable will be worked out as soon we meet at the committee level,” he said.