It appears that President Jonathan is beginning to succumb to pressure and baring his fangs at the embattled aviation minister, Ms Stella Oduah, after all, as the Vanguard reports that she will not be part of the historic signing of a Bilateral Air Services Agreement (BASA) with Israel on Monday.
The minister is facing a double-pronged probe from the Presidency and the House of Representatives over her acquisition of two armoured BMW vehicles at the cost of N225 million allegedly for her personal use.
It is also believed that she went to Israel with the hope that she could use the opportunity of the visit to explain her position on the controversial car deal to President Jonathan and take part in signing the BASA agreement with Israel.
Sources, however, said that the President had not given the minister any opportunity to discuss the issue with him since his arrival in the Holy Land last Wednesday.
The source explained that the Nigerian leader decided to keep the minister out of the signing ceremony because he did not want his visit to be overshadowed by the controversy surrounding her.
A source told Vanguard that the aviation minister has not been given any visibility during the visit to Israel in a bid to keep her away from the limelight.
Competent Presidency sources told Vanguard that President Goodluck Jonathan was uncomfortable with the public outrage arising from “Oduahgate” and would not want to be seen as condoning corruption with the embattled minister on his side.
One source said: “The President is mindful of the fact that he has to project Nigeria as a country, which does not condone any form of graft and will not bring a tainted official of his administration to Tel Aviv for a serious event as the BASA signing ceremony”.
“Before leaving for the Holy Land, the President had made it clear that the circumstances surrounding the purchase of the two armoured cars for the minister must be thoroughly investigated and a detailed report made for him to assure Nigerians and the international community that he does not tolerate any form of financial impropriety.”
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, has said it has no documents regarding the purchase of the two controversial armoured cars purportedly bought for the use of the nation’s aviation industry.
NCAA’s position was contained in a three paragraph letter addressed to the Falana and Falana Chambers in response to the request by the law firm asking for detailed information about the purchase of the cars.