President Goodluck Jonathan may have placed the embattled Minister of Aviation, Ms. Stella Oduah, on “tactical suspension,” findings by The PUNCH have revealed.
A reliable Presidency source said Jonathan decided on the “tactical suspension,” hours before the signing of the Bilateral Air Service Agreement between Nigeria and Israel on Monday.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Aviation, Mr. George Ossi, had on October 24 told the House of Representatives Committee on Aviation that Oduah led a Nigerian delegation to Israel to sign the BASA.
The House committee is probing the purchase of two bulletproof cars at a whopping N255m price by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority for the minister.
Our source explained that it was the ‘tactical suspension’ that made Jonathan to direct the Minister of State (1) for Foreign Affairs , Prof. Viola Onwuliri, to sign the agreement instead of Oduah.
When asked by one of our correspondents what ‘tactical suspension’ meant, he said, “Oduah will not be allowed to attend public functions that will have the President in attendance until the three-member committee set up to investigate the matter turns in its report.”
The source, who said he did not know whether the “tactical suspension” order had been formally communicated to the minister, stated that the step became necessary in order to dissuade Nigerians who hold the opinion that the President was shielding Oduah.