By Kenneth Ehigiator and Emma Ovuakporie
The House of Representatives is threatening to issue a bench warrant for the arrest of embattled Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah, if, by Tuesday, she fails to appear before its Committee on Aviation.
Oduah had been summoned to answer questions on aviation related issues on the heels of the Associated Airlines plane crash last month.
The minister will obviously also respond to the lawmakers on the two controversial armoured BMW cars said to have been bought for her by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).
Oduah was, as at last night, in Israel to sign a Bilateral Air Service Agreement (BASA), alongside President Goodluck Jonathan, with Israeli officials.
“If she fails to show up (for the House Committee hearing), we will issue a bench warrant to get her arrested”, the House of Representatives, spokesman, Hon. Zakari Lafia Mohammed, said.
Mohammed, who spoke in an interview with Sunday Vanguard, went on: “This is a national issue that must be properly thrashed out with the zeal of a wounded lion. If need be, we will ask the Speaker to issue a bench warrant immediately she fails to show up and she will be arrested. We’ve given her enough grace as the committee will sit on Friday, Monday and Tuesday. All those excuses given on her behalf will not hold by the time we conclude our findings.”
Meanwhile, NCAA has said it followed due process in procuring the two armoured vehicles.
In its presentation to the House of Representatives Committee on Aviation, the agency said: “Procurement of operational vehicles is provided for in NCAA 2013 Budget on line 6, page 10 and is in line with NCAA Condition of Service”
Read the House of Reps spokesman’s interview