Tuesday, 11 March 2014
Petroleum Minister Implicated In Private Jet Scandal.
CAP requested Jonathan to immediately launch a probe into the ownership, maintenance and usage of the Challenger 850 Jet marked OE-ILA which was domiciled at one of the private hangers in a Nigerian airport in the last two years. About 15 months ago, there were similar reports in the media linking a minister to a private jet impounded by the French government carrying a business associate of top public officers on suspicions that the jet-a Bombardier Global Express XRS- belongs to the public officer. The jet was discovered to have been purchased by the Bank of Utah Trustee in June 2012 through the same process that was also used in purchasing private jets for the governors of Rivers and Akwa Ibom States. The incontrovertible evidence we have is that the Minister has been committing 500,000 Euros (N130 million) monthly to maintaining the aircraft in the lsast to years. Thus, in two years, the Minister has committed the sum of N3.120 billion to keeping the jet which is used for personal use and that of the Minister’s family alone”, and thus demanded “a thorough probe of this allegation should start from the FAAN, NCAA and NAMA. The agencies have records of all the trips the Challenger 850 jet made on the payroll of one of the nation’s top revenue earning agencies. In the current allegation, the petitioners claimed that they have details of the series of flights the minister had engaged in with the said plane in the last two years. The details in their possession also include the different locations, time and date of the flights as well as dates the plane returned to Nigeria at each instance. They confirmed that the plane has been in used since July 2012 and that the waste has continued to gallop even in the wake of dwindling national budget.