By JOSEPH ERUNKE
ABUJA- A civil society group under the aegis of Anti-Corruption Network, yesterday, gave Minister of Aviation,Princess Stella Odua a 72-hour ultimatum to resign her position or face mass protest.
The group said its position was informed by admission by the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority that it purchased two bullet-proof cars at the cost of N255 million for the minister.
Addressing the press in Abuja, through its Executive Secretary, Otunba Dino Malaye, the group also asked the minister to immediately refund the N255 million allegedly used by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority to purchase the two Bullet-Proof cars for her.
Malaye, a former member of the House of Representatives, equally said his group would seek redress in a competent court of law besides steet protest against the minister over what he termed “her abuse of office.”
He said the bod had already briefed its legal team to study the case with a view to filing legal action against the minister by Thursday,next week.
“If it were to be during Obasanjo or Yar’Adua, the minister would have been fired. We are waiting to see what the president will do as well as the National Assembly,”he said.
He added: “We are giving the minister 72 hours to resign and refund the money spent to the government confers. Failure to do so, we will mobilise Nigerians to protest this abuse of office. If by Thursday they don’t comply with our demands, we will file a suit in court against them and against the ministry, as well as the parastatal that bought the cars under question.”
The former lawmaker insisted: “Our lawyers are looking at our books to ensure that we file this suit by Thursday next week. We must take our destiny in our hands. No one will stop us. Enough is enough. We will use the case of Oduah as an acid test against all corrupt practices in this country.”
Malaye maintained that the purchase of the two bullet proof cars under any disguise was a slap on the millions of undergraduate students who,he noted, had been shut out of schools for four months due to infrastructure decay in the country’s public institutions.
The action of the minister,according to him, was not only callous, but inhuman and reprehensible.
He noted that it was either the agency which allegedly bought car for the minister under declared its Internally Generated Revenue, or the minister got it through the kick-back from ongoing renovation of the nation’s airports.
“No ministry or agency is allowed to spend money not appropriated. The posers we have for the minister is, was the money for the purchase of the cars budgeted for by the National Assembly? Did the Bureau of Public Enterprise clear the purchase? Or did Stella Oduah obtain certificate of no objection? These are many more posers the Honourable Minister should provide answers to.
“However, in the absence of satisfactory answers, what can be deduced is that, it is either the NCAA alleged to have procured the cars hoodwinked the public by under declaring its Internally Generated Revenue to raise the money, or the minister purchased it from the proceeds of the kick-back from the renovation of the country’s airports,”he added.