Alleged N9.4b airport contract fraud: EFCC quizzes Senator Oduah for ten hours
Former Minister of Aviation, Senator Stella Oduah, was on Monday questioned for over ten hours by operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission over what she knows about the award of award and implementation of the N9.4 billion for the provision of security in 22 airports across Nigeria.
The EFCC invited the former minister now a sitting Senator representing Anambra State to its head office in Abuja to clear the air on the contract, which the anti-graft agency was not properly executed and the money laundered. But Oduah denies the claim, insisting that she did not wrong while she held sway as Aviation Minister under former President Goodluck Jonathan and has not been able to honour the EFCC invitation to speak up on the matter until Monday morning when she presented herself to her interrogators.
An official of the agency confirmed to Vanguard that Senator Oduah finally honoured EFCC invitation on Monday around 11 am when she walked into the waiting hands of operatives, who immediately took her in for questioning. The official said, “Oduah arrived the headquarters of the agency in Abuja at about 11am and was still being grilled by a team of investigators by 6pm. “She was invited over a number of allegations bordering 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.
“She was invited on three different occasions to report for interview on the 13th June, 2017, 29th June 2017 and 13th November 2017 but she failed to honour any of the invitations. “Rather than appear to face a panel that was raised by the EFCC to interrogate her, Oduah, through a letter dated January 5, 2018, informed the commission that she would honour the invite on January 29, 2018.
“The contract was awarded when she held sway as Minister of Aviation in the administration of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan. “There were issues surrounding the contract, including alleged non-execution of the project in some airports, abandonment of the contract in a few ones, diversion of part of the contract sum and suspected case of money laundering.
It will be recalled that based on her inability to report, EFCC had earlier threatened to declare her wanted in connection with the failed security contract after she failed to report to the agency after being invited thrice in the last one year. It was not clear as at the time of filing the report if she would be admitted on administrative bail and when she would leave the EFCC premises. Vanguard