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Stella Oduah in EFCC net over N9.4bn ‘fraud’

Stella Oduah, former minister of aviation, has been quizzed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over an N9.4bn alleged fraud during her tenure.

TheCable learnt that she arrived at the EFCC headquarters at 11am to honour a longstanding invitation.

The senator representing Anambra north was still being grilled as at 6pm, but it is not clear if she will spend the night at the anti-graft agency.

“She was invited over allegations ordering on abuse of office and money laundering. One of the allegations concerns fraud in the N9.4bn ISEC contract for security installations in some airports,” the source said.

Earlier in the month, Oduah issued a statement to deny the alleged diversion of funds under her watch as minister.

Oduah who was in charge of the aviation ministry from July 2011 to February 2014, maintained that all contracts awarded during her tenure followed due process.

“As minister of aviation, I committed myself to the service of my country to the very best of my ability and as it is widely acknowledged, my record and performance as the minister of aviation remain laudable and unbeatable,” he said.

“What we did in aviation was so far reaching that it had never been done before, it was so unprecedented.”

She said the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, was in such a bad shape, that even the restrooms were not usable.

“Most of the airports were worse than motor parks,” she said.

“We took them on and efficiently and in a very timely manner changed every single one of them: and we did not just change that, we changed the safety of the Nigerian airspace.

In 2013, Oduah was embroiled in car purchase allegations, when reports emerged that she had compelled the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to procure the vehicles for her.

The purchase drew nationwide controversy, and activists like Femi Falana urged EFCC to conduct a thorough investigation with a view to prosecuting the former minister.

In response to a query by former President Goodluck Jonathan she said the procurement was duly provided for in the NCAA budget that year, which also adopted lease payments in installments over 36 months.



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