By Kingsley Omonobi, Tordue SalemÂ & Laide Akinboade
ABUJA â€”INDICATIONS emerged, yesterday, that former Attorney General and Minister of Justice and current Special Duties Minister, Michael Aondoakaa, has apologized to Information and Communications Minister, Prof. Dora Akunyili over a statement he allegedly made that â€œAkunyili â€¦. go confront herself with what happened in NAFDAC.â€ Following the alleged statement, the Information minister had issued Aondoakaa a seven-day ultimatum to clarify the statement or be dragged to court.
However, Aondoakaa, who was redeployed from Justice ministry, Wednesday, was quoted, in a letter dated 9 February, 2010, as refering to Akunyili as â€˜My Dear Sisterâ€™, and noting that he was only praising the performance of the Information minister during her time at the National Agency for Food, Drugs Administration and Control, NAFDAC, where she served as Director General.
Aondoakaa said in the letter: â€œWhile much of quoted words can be rightly ascribed to me, the import of the last sentence to the effect that â€˜let her go confront herself with what happened in NAFDACâ€™ was meant to be in the positive.
The correct import of the above quoted words is that the Hon. Minister had already earned a reputation for herself while at NAFDAC and need not seek to do more by embarking on the present course of action to the detriment of a resolution already adopted unanimously by members of the FEC.â€
The former Attorney General had also allegedly described Prof. Akunyili as â€œa self-seeking office holder who wants to make herself a cheap heroin.â€ He had said: â€œWell, first, she did not understand the constitution and she is not following events in the country.
I think she was just trying to make herself a cheap heroin out of that. If you see what the Senate said, the Senate made an appeal. She does not need the FEC to make an appeal; she can also make her appeal.
Understanding the constitution
â€œThe Senate said it was appealing. The spokesman of the Senate eventually came out and said they have no power to compel the man. Now, there is even a court decision that says the transmission of letter shall be voluntary. It is within the President. Bringing the memo to the FEC is just to make her an angel. She wants to be seen as a populist. Whatever she wants to gain from it is still personal. None of the FEC members has disrespect to the Vice President.
As far as we are concerned, the VP is our leader and he is leading us. What she is trying to do is self-seeking, let her go and confront herself with what happened in NAFDAC.
â€œWe are working as a team and the AGF is there. You cannot just come out as an island and take a decision and try to rock the boat without even consulting your colleagues. Just because the next day, the press will bring you out and make you a heroin and others as villainsâ€.
The former AGFâ€™s letter to Prof. Akunyili reads, â€œI wish to draw your attention to the above subject matter conveyed to me by your letter dated February 8, 2010. While much of the quoted words in your letter can rightly be ascribed to me, the import of the last sentence to the effect thatÂ â€˜â€¦â€¦.let her go and confront herself with what happened in NAFDACâ€™ was meant to be in the positive but was wrongly presented in the negative.
â€œThe correct import of the above quoted words is that the Honourable Minister had already earned a reputation for herself while in NAFDAC and need not seek to do more by embarking on the present course of action to the detriment of a resolution already adopted unanimously by members of FEC. Accept the assurances of my highest regards and consideration.â€
Reps probe Akunyiliâ€™s petition
Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Public Petitions, C. I. D. Maduabum said the House would investigate a petition by Information and National Orientation Minister, Prof. Dora Akunyili against her Special Duties counterpart, Chief Michael Aondoakaa raising doubts on her record as the Director-General of NAFDAC.
The lawmaker explained that as â€œa validly referred petitionâ€, the committee would commence an investigative hearing to determine the truth in the allegation adding, however, that the only reason his committee would shelve the hearing would be when the petitioner decided to withdraw it formally.
He said: â€œThe petition has been referred to us and consistent with our rules, it will be treated accordingly. It is a validly referred petition. We can only stop the hearing when she formally withdraws the petition.â€
Akunyili had on Tuesday, through Rep. Dino Melaye, PDP, Kogi, and two other federal lawmakers presented a petition before the House complaining that Aondoakaa had, in a veiled statement, accused her of corrupt practices while she was at NAFDAC.