Saturday, 19 October 2013

Falana Petitions EFCC Over Aviation Minister Car Scandal

Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, has petitioned the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, urging it to investigate the aviation minister, Stella Oduah for fraud and extortion, according to Punch.

In the petition, Falana’s firm said that the N255 million used by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, to purchase two BMW armoured vehicles for Oduah was acquired illegally. It did not follow due process.

“Apart from the fact that the said threat to the life of the minister was never reported to the police, the extortion of the sum of N255m from the NCAA, a parastatal under the Ministry of Aviation, is fraudulent in every material particular.

“Specifically, the said sum of N255m was not appropriated by the National Assembly while the officials of the NCAA who authorised the expenditure of the sum of N255m exceeded their approval limit,” said Falana’s firm.

Punch reports that the petition was signed by Samuel Ogala. Falana’s firm threatened to approach the court and compel the EFCC to investigate Oduah.

The petition came the same day the NCAA described the leak as criminal and admitted that a probe has commenced to unmask the whistleblower.

“I am not saying that this particular information should not be put in the public domain. But how it was obtained is the concern. If somebody breaks into an office and makes copies of official documents, then the break-in has become criminal,” said Fola Akinkuotu at a press conference in Abuja, the Nigerian capital.

“So we are in the process of trying to find the source of this leakage and I am very concerned about it. Because this information may look trivial but there are other information that we have that are confidential and it is only fair for us to respect the confidentiality of information. I am not saying that they broke into our office, but they obtained the information illegally,” he added.

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