Armoured cars: Presidential panel ready with report

President Jonathan had set up the panel on October 23, 2013, with immediate past Head of Service, Alhaji Isa Bello, as chairman and National Security Adviser, Colonel Sambo Dasuki as well as Air Vice Marshal Dick Iruenebere (retd) as members.
The panel, which was given two weeks to conclude its work, was to determine whether or not due process was followed in the procurement of the vehicles as well as determine the purpose for which they were bought, among other issues.
Daily Sun gathered that in its report, the panel stated that there was no indication that Minister of Aviation, Stella Oduah, forced the NCAA to buy the vehicles.
It was also gathered that the panel stated that from its findings the cars were not bought in Oduah’s name and were not delivered to her.
The panel also reported that in the purchase of the vehicles, there were no fraudulent intention, as defined by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Matter (ECPC) Act.
On what should be done to Oduah, the panel recommended administrative caution, for her to be more diligent in future approvals.
While announcing the setting up of the panel, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, stated that prior to raising the panel, President Jonathan had asked Oduah to explain her role in the purchase of the cars.
According to him, “president Goodluck Jonathan has taken the initial step of asking the Minister of Aviation, Stella Oduah, for explanations and that is in public domain and so it will not be right to say that the president is not well seized of the matter.
“But also, President Jonathan has, today (October 23, 2013), taken a step further and you (State House correspondents) will probably be the first set of Nigerians to hear this, by setting up a three-man administrative panel of inquiry to investigate the matter.”
Abati also stated: “This panel has the assignment to investigate whether or not the procurement process, with regards to this armoured vehicles followed due process.
“This three-man panel is also to find out the purpose to which the vehicles were procured and then to inquire into any other incidental matters.”
He revealed that the secretariat of the panel would be provided by the office the NSA, while expressing Jonathan’s determination to ensure that no public officer was shielded from inquiry.
“Let me assure you that President Jonathan will like to assure the general public that nobody, no matter how highly placed, will be shielded or exempted from this inquiry that he has directed and that appropriate action will be taken against any person or persons who maybe found guilty of misconduct or misappropriation of public funds, either in this respect or in any other,” Abati stated.
It would be recalled that the House of Representatives Committee on Aviation had also probed the purchase of the controversial cars.
During the committee’s public sitting, officials of the Bureau of Public Procurement, Nigeria customs Services, NCAA, Coscharis Motors and First Bank Plc appeared and made presentations.
Also, Oduah appeared before the panel and presented documents on the processes for the approval and purchase of the car, declaring that the vehicles were not bought in her name and do not belong to her.


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