President Goodluck Jonathan on Wednesday finally sacked the embattled minister of Aviation, Stella Oduah, along with three other ministers from his cabinet.
The others affected are minister of Police Affairs, Caleb Olubolade; minister of the Niger Delta, Godsday Orubebe and minister of state for finance, Yerima Ngama.
There had been speculations of an imminent cabinet reshuffle following the submission of 12 names to the National Assembly by President Jonathan on January 21 as ministerial nominees and although no one had been directly named to be dropped, Oduah’s sack today has not come as a surprise.
Oduah’s approval for the purchase of two bullet-proof cars for N255m caused public outrage in the country with many Nigerians calling for her removal and prosecution.
The House of Representatives had approved the recommendation by its aviation committee asking for her removal following the controversial purchase of two armoured vehicles at an inflated N255 million.
The lawmakers said the contract for the purchase of the vehicles breached the federal appropriation and public procurement laws, as it was neither budgeted for by government nor was it publicly advertised and bided for.
Oduah had maintained she did nothing wrong as funding for the cars, made available by First Bank, was arranged to comply with her spending limit and relevant laws. She said the purchase was not done in her name.
The minister had also been accused of forging her certificates.
She said that she obtained a Masters degree from St. Paul’s College, USA, but the institution had denied having a graduate school or issuing a post-graduate degree.
Investigations by an online newspaper, Premium Times, which broke the scandal, further revealed that the year in which she allegedly obtained the certificates was the same year she was serving in the National Youth Service Corps in Nigeria.