Stella Oduah says she never stole from govt coffers, challenges FG to provide evidence
Oduah said her achievements as the Aviation Minister are unbeatable till date, adding that the allegations are "mere media sensations".
The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammedhad on Sunday, April 1, 2018, released a second 'looters' list', containing 24 names, including Oduah's.
Mohammed had earlier named six past government officials who allegedly looted the national purse - he had described the first list as 'a tip of the iceberg'.
According to the latest list, Oduah allegedly stole N9.8 billion and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has secured an Interim Forfeiture order on some of her property.
'illusionary list of looters'
Reacting to the allegation, Oduah in a statement said she has "never taken any illegal proceeds from the government purse."
She described the list as "mere media sensations" and challenged Mohammed to provide evidence to back his claim.
Oduah said, "My attention has been drawn to the illusionary list of looters released by Lai Mohammed in which, by treachery or by happenstance, my name featured.
"It is worrisome how a serving Minister could condescend so low in what appeared like a childish altercation to start mentioning names of his alleged looters without verified or verifiable facts, in order to win what he considered a quarrel. In deliberately taking on those he considered prominent in the achievements of the past administration, he mentioned my name against an allegation of a whooping sum of N9.8 billion naira. But for the records, i would have simply ignored him since his notoriety in making false and laughable statements has gained prominence in recent times.
"Record has it that my achievements as the Aviation Minister are unbeatable till date. I did not engage in any financial impropriety as the Minister and the allegation involving the said sum of N9.8 billion is not only untrue but laughable. The said contract awarded by the Ministry of Aviation under my watch was executed and based on the request of the contractors, they were paid their money which they utilized in the manner they did. The records are still with the Ministry. I have no business with the companies that took part in executing that contract and till now, I do not understand how anything went wrong over that contract that was executed. I have never taken any illegal proceeds from the government purse. God had since blessed me tremendously before I joined politics in the quest to serve my country and I remain content and grateful to God. The trend of harassing past office holders with false and malicious allegations to score a political point destroys rather than helps the integrity of the anti-corruption stance of the government and indeed makes holding public office very discouraging.
"The machines seized/forfeited by the Federal Government over the allegation on the said money are not mine. I challenge Lai Mohammed to provide evidence linking me with his wild allegations. I have been waiting for that evidence and I am yet to see any.
All allegations made against me remain mere media sensations orchestrated for mere political reasons. Oftentimes, I ignore them believing the orchestrators would repent after several failed outings. Mis-using the media and misleading the society through the media at the expense of innocent citizens in order to win a medal is unfortunate and most irresponsible. Governance is not warfare. Calumny is evil."
Most of the people named on the list are members the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and their loyalists.
Among the alleged looters are Tom Ikimi, a PDP stalwart - he allegedly stole N300 million - while a former Aviation Minister and PDP chieftain, Femi Fani-Kayode allegedly stole N866 million.
Hassan Tukur, a former PPS to former President Goodluck Jonathan allegedly siphoned 1.7 million dollars.
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