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N255m scam: Panel report leakage tears Reps apart

The leakage of the House of Representatives report on the purchase of N255m BMW bulletproof cars to the media tore members of the investigation panel apart on Thursday.

The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority bought the controversial cars allegedly for the use of the Minister of Aviation, Ms Stella Oduah.

She appeared before the panel to deny that the cars were purchased for her.

Some newspapers, including The PUNCH, had scooped snippets of the report on Wednesday ahead of the report presentation before the House on Thursday (yesterday).

Investigations showed that the Chairman of the House Committee on Aviation, which conducted the investigation, Mrs. Nkiruka Onyejeocha, was enraged that the media had foreknowledge of the content of the report.

Some key members of the committee also expressed disgust over the development, saying that it exposed the “lack of trust” among the members.

“The chairman has been raking all day; she has been restless.

“She has asked almost all members of the committee how the media got what they reported today (Thursday).

“The matter caused disquiet among the members; they are seriously suspecting one another.

“More so, she insists that the media published a distorted version”, a source close to the committee, confided in The PUNCH on Thursday.

The PUNCH learnt that some members, who suspected that the final report might be doctored, had volunteered pieces of information to the media.

Efforts to get the report proved abortive on Thursday, as Onyejeocha guarded it jealously till she laid the document.

She also declined to comment on the content of the recommendation as she consistently expressed bitterness over the snippets.

When The PUNCH traced her to her office after laying the report, Onyejeocha was further enraged.

She claimed to have printed only one copy, which was submitted to the House on Thursday.

She shouted, “Up till this morning, we were still writing this report; I don’t know where you newspaper people got what you reported from.”

“It is just that this investigation is sensitive; I would have disowned the entire report and call for a repeat of the investigation.”

The Punch

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