President Goodluck Jonathan on Sunday said he has received the report of the three-member administrative panel of enquiry set up to probe the Aviation Minister, Stella Oduah’s role in the purchase of two bullet proof cars.
The President had in October instituted the panel to probe the procurement of two bullet proof cars by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, under the directive of Mrs. Oduah. The two cars were allegedly bought for N225million.
The panel was asked to investigate the minister’s role in the procurement and to determine if due process was followed in the procurement of the vehicles.
The three-member panel, chaired by the immediate former Head of Service of the Federation, Isa Bello, also has the National Security Adviser (NSA), Sambo Dasuki, and Dick Iruenebere as members.
Speaking to State House correspondents on his arrival at the presidential wing of the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport, Abuja, the president was silent on the state of the report or whether government had decided to act on it.
A separate investigation by the House of Representatives had indicted Mrs. Oduah for the purchase and allegedly called for her removal and prosecution.
Several lawyers, activists and other Nigerians have also called for Mrs. Oduah’s removal and prosecution following the scandal.
Thanks Nigerians on illness.
Also at the airport, Mr. Jonathan thanked Nigerians for the show of love and concern towards him over his health issues; saying “I had health challenges, we thank God again because (of) the concern showed by Nigerians.”
“First let me thank and appreciate Nigerians for the show of love and concern. First on Wednesday, even though I was in London I read how people congratulated me, remembering my birthday that I don’t normally celebrate anyway.
“I really had some health challenges I have to thank God again because, the concern shown my Nigerians and the love. I thank God that I am very okay to resume work I believe from this night.
“The most important thing is that I am back. You will expect that when you are holding a political office as the president of a country, anything that affects you attract a lot of attention. So that the President is sick alone even if you don’t know ailment definitely it will cause apprehension,” he said.
The President also disclosed that he would meet with aggrieved governors (G7) of his Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, but did not state when the meeting would take place.
“I don’t know I am just coming in, I believe within the week we will be able to meet,” he said.
“Politics is about discussion, we belong to the same political party or even people from different political parties engaged in political discussion and political discussion is a continuous process, even during election people discuss. So we will continue to discuss.”
The G7 governors belong to a faction of the PDP led by Abubakar Baraje and are opposed to Bamanga Tukur as the national chairman of the party and also allegedly opposed to the planned re-election bid of Mr. Jonathan in 2015.
Ministers did not abandon conference
Reacting to reports that some ministers abandoned the London conference, the president debunked the claims, stating that the ministers were not meant to stay through all the meetings.
“All of them performed very well. I think there are some kind of misconception. The Honorary International Investor Forum meets two times in a year, one in Nigeria and one outside Nigeria, sometimes it’s London; most cases is London, the last time it was France or so.
“Ministers are not meant to sit throughout the period. Ministers are meant to go and make presentations even in Nigeria. The only person that normally sits throughout is the Minister of Trade and Investment that warehouses the HIIC. Some ministers don’t normally sit for two days, in a day you may not see a minister. If a minister is meant to make a presentation on the second day, is not that for the two days you will expect all the ministers.
“Because I read some of the perception in the media, that the minister of communication technology was not there on Thursday, the minister of petroleum was there on Thursday. They were not meant to make presentation on Thursday, they appeared on Friday and made their presentation. Even in Nigeria, I even sit more in the meeting because it’s a group that advises the President.
“If I’m not there the Vice President takes over. Myself or the Vice President, trade and investment, CBN Governor, Economic Adviser, Finance Minister, Planning are the ones who stay more. So there is no issue about ministers; people make a lot of insinuations out of nothing,” he said.