The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, was economical with the truth when it told the National Assembly that the four armoured vehicles it purchased for its Managing Director and the Aviation Minister were in the custody of First Bank, PREMIUM TIMES has learnt.
Top officials of the bank told PREMIUM TIMES, on Friday, that none of the four cars was in their care.
“It is not true that First Bank is in custody of those four cars. We don’t know where the cars are,” one of the officials, who did not want to be named because of the controversy the deal has generated, said.
The four vehicles – two Lexus limousines and two Prado jeeps – are not part of the N255 million armoured BMW cars bought for Aviation Minister, Stella Oduah by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, which shocked the nation and has led to presidential and legislative investigations.
FAAN admitted to the purchase of the limousines at the cost of N60 million each, but said that it did not have details of the Prado jeeps.
While responding to an October 29 query by the Senate Committee on Aviation, George Uriesi, FAAN’s Managing Director, stated, under oath, that the four cars were in the custody of the bankers which funded the purchase.
Our checks have now indicated Mr. Uriesi was did not tell the committee the whole truth.
“They bought a total number of 202 vehicles for different operations so until they come back on Monday we cannot rush into conclusion,” Hope Uzodinma, Chairman, Senate Committee on Aviation, had told journalists on Wednesday.
“Uriesi did confirm that among the operational vehicles they purchased, four of them are armoured vehicles, two for the managing director and two for the minister.
“We told them to go back and put everything in writing and make comprehensive statements on all vehicles purchased,” Mr. Uzodinma had added.
Mr. Uriesi will appear before the committee on November 4.
Meanwhile, the House of Representatives’ Committee on Aviation concluded its hearing on the purchase of the two N255 million armoured cars.
Nkiruka Onyejeocha, the Committee’s Chairperson, said that they have received sufficient documents from Mrs. Oduah, who appeared before it on Thursday, and others who were invited.
“We have given everyone fair hearing. We assure everyone and all Nigerians we will do justice,” Mrs. Onyejeocha said.