Thursday, February 13, 2014

#CODED-ish News::WHY Jonathan Sacked Stella Oduah And Others

7:36 AM

President Goodluck Jonathan has relieved four Ministers of their duties, as was announced at the Federal Executive Council meeting.

Who

The relieved Ministers are Stella Oduah (Aviation), Caleb Olubolade (Police Affairs), Godsday Orubebe (Niger Delta Police Affairs), and Yerima Ngama (State, Finance).

It will be recalled that Stella Oduah's case is related to corruption-related offences. Both the House of Representatives and a presidential committee indicted her for approving purchase of two bullet-proof cars for N255m. Investigations have also revealed that Oduah has forged her academic qualifications.

Minister of State for FCT, Olajumoke Akinjide is to supervise the Ministry of Police Affairs, while the Minister of State for Trade and Investment, Sam Ortom, is to supervise the Aviation Ministry. Minister of State for Niger Delta Affairs, Gayius Isiaku, would supervise the ministry, while the Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala would have to combine her work with that of Yerima Ngama.

Why

Speaking at the FEC, Information Minister Labaran Maku disclosed that the President directed the Ministers to vacate their positions to pursue political and private business interests they had expressed.

"The President announced further changes in the Federal Executive Council," Mr. Maku said. "He said a number of ministers had been asked to step out from the council to pursue their own interests, some in politics and others in their own private focus. Mainly what the President did today was to allow the Ministers that have indicated interest in pursuing further growth in the economy to be allowed to go."

While Ms. Oduah was sacked in absentia as she was not at the cabinet meeting, the other affected ministers were in attendance at what turned out their last FEC meeting.

The ministers of police affairs and Niger Delta affairs however left before the end of the meeting.

Minister Orubebe

In 2012, a group, Anti-Corruption Network, headed by a former member of the House of Representatives, Dino Melaye, accused Mr. Orubebe of corruption and abuse of office.

In a petition to the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC, the group accused the former minister of accepting gratification of a palatial mansion in Abuja, contrary to Section 12 of the Act.

The former minister was also criticized by the Rivers State Governor, Chibuike Amaechi, for poor performance, especially for failing to complete the East-West Road, which is vital to the economy of the Niger Delta region.

Mr. Ngama and his Malabu case

Mr. Ngama, alongside the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke, allegedly ignored petitions, a court case, and anti-corruption investigations, to hurriedly authorize the transfer of N155billion into accounts controlled by Dan Etete, a former Petroleum Minister, who claimed ownership of Malabu.

Before his sack, Mr. Ngama, who is believed to be eyeing the governorship seat of Yobe State, had had a running battle with members of the Federation Account Allocation Committee, FAAC.

The Commissioners of Finance and Accountants-General of the 36 states and the FCT, who are members of the Committee had repeatedly protested to President Jonathan over alleged poor management of the affairs of the Committee.

Mr. Ngama also authored the controversial letter from the Ministry of Finance authorising the Nigerian Custom Service, NCS, to widen the scope of beneficiaries of the Export Expansion Grant. That letter is believed to have opened a floodgate of abuse of the customs duties waiver regime.

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