Aviation Minister, Stella Oduah, Accused of Grand Corruption by Arik
Whatsoever a man soweth, that will he reap, says the ancient biblical proverb. According to allegations brought forward by Arik Airlines management, the minister of Aviation may not be privy to the ancient text.
The minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah, stands accused of grand corruption. According to a media report released by Sahara Reporters, the aviation minister has forced Arik Airlines to ground their operations owing to a failure to provide her with 5% of the airlines equity shares.
According to the Sahara Reporters story, “Today, the beleaguered airline circulated a text message accusing Ms. Oduah of vindictively fomenting crisis within the airline for denying her demand to receive a stake of 5% in Arik. The text message read, “Due to persistent hostility of the Ministry of Aviation, with a minister who is demanding a 5 percent equity in a business where she has no investment…and FAAN management, which has culminated in the use of FAAN staff to stop the airline operations and lock in checked-in passengers in Lagos this morning, Arik Air has suspended all domestic operations until further notice. This issue [borders] on personal interests and not payment of bills; since FAAN has been collecting.”
The media report also accused the minister of claiming the demand for equity in the company was being made on behalf of President Jonathan. Stella Oduah is one of President Jonathan’s closest advisers and was his campaign treasurer for the 2011 elections.
Sahara Reporters also said a source revealed that the minister only let Dana regain operational status after receiving a hefty bribe.
According to their report, [“We have received reports that minister received hundreds of millions of naira [in bribe] from Dana authorities to restore their license to operate,” said the source. She added that the Dana management was actually surprised by the urgency with which their airline’s license was restored. “You should bear in mind that Dana had not paid a quarter of the insurance payments to families of the casualties in the June 3rd crash of Dana Flight 992 in Lagos,” said our source, an aviation expert. She said it was eye-opening that the management of Dana issued a statement claiming that they had not bribed anyone to influence the restoration of their license.]
The minister of aviation is yet to respond to the allegations.