It was a typical week in the Green Chamber. You can trust the lawmakers in the House of Representatives when it comes to controversial issues, particularly allegations of corruption
As at Tuesday when they resumed from the Salah holidays, the media was already inundated with reports of the purchase of the $1.6m (N255m) bullet proof cars. It was therefore not surprising when the House resumed plenary on a probing note.
As a prelude, a motion alleging that the Federal Ministry of Aviation had barred Qatar Airways from landing and operating at the Aminu Kano International Airport was launched. The motion sought an investigation and it was promptly granted.
Then came the main dish- the minister’s bullet proof cars. It was obviously what everyone had been waiting for and the atmosphere became charged as soon as it came. It also came with a demand for an investigation which was granted speedily.
In the usual manner, nearly all the information available on these issues were gathered from newspaper publications and the social media. But the sponsors of the motions made such good deliveries of the allegations against the Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah that Pontius Pilate would have readily washed his hands and handed her over to be nailed on the cross.
In this hallowed court of the people, there is often a very thin line between allegations and truth; accusers and the jury.
The whole drama came to an anti-climax on Thursday when the investigation commenced without Oduah, the prime target of the inquiry.
The lawmakers did a good job by attacking the issues to establish the facts of the case, but they should have avoided the unnecessary display of hostilities towards officials of the Federal Ministry of Aviation.
Asking the ministry’s delegation to leave was rather unparliamentary and left the public with the impression that some panelists had made up their mind on who was to be crucified.
One can only imagine what the fireworks could have looked like if Oduah had been present to carry her cross.
Truly, some of the revelations were not palatable and smacked of impunity in high places. They appear to be the handiwork of some stewards of the bureaucracy. They have ruined many sterling careers of well meaning but naïve politicians.
In spite of the hue and cry about the purchase of two BMW bullet proof cars, it does appear that the Minister of Aviation may not be directly culpable for the car deal.
Why do I think so? In all the documentary and oral evidences so far tendered, there has not been any memo from her requesting for the controversial vehicles.
None of the memos on the transaction originated from her desk at the Federal Ministry of Aviation. The whole deal was arguably the brainchild of bureaucrats at the NCAA and Oduah may have been misled into granting approvals for what might have been presented to her as necessary operational tools for a strategic agency in the aviation industry.
Posted by SirVic for wetopup(News Laboratry)