Petroleum Minister Diezani Jet scandal: Reps Uncover Second Aircraft -PUNCH Newspaper

The jet, a  Global Express XRS plane, is  allegedly chartered specifically for her private and official trips overseas.A return trip on  the  XRS plane is said to cost taxpayers €600,000.The   jet  is different from the Challenger 850, which the House of Representatives said gulped N10bn  in the last two years to fly the minister.Investigation by The PUNCH showed that the House Committee on Public Accounts stumbled on the second jet in the course of the ongoing probe into the N10billion expenditure on Challenger 850.Findings also showed that the owners of Challenger 850 might have fled the country  shortly after the House ordered an investigation into the transaction between them and  Alison-Madueke.It was gathered that the aircraft owners reportedly became jittery after the committee  declared its plan to summon them to assist in the investigation.The PUNCH had reported exclusively last Sunday that the committee would summon the owners of the plane to testify before it.Asked to comment on the issue, the Chairman of the committee, Mr. Solomon Olamilekan, told our correspondent that  he was “shocked by the  latest information.”“We have heard that the owners of the Challenger have hurriedly left the country. The information is just reaching the committee; but, we are still holding our preliminary meetings,” he stated.Olamilekan, who confirmed that the committee had uncovered a second jet, added that they were trying to establish how many trips it made outside the country.“We are still holding our preliminary meetings. We have to put all the facts together and agree on the mode of the hearing first.“The question on  when to invite the minister will come after the meetings. We are still meeting.”However, a document our correspondent obtained in Abuja on Tuesday, indicated that Alison-Madueke flew  in Global Express XRS on two occasions in 2011.She chartered the same jet twice in 2013 on a return trip bill of €600,000 per trip.For example, on March 21, 2011, she flew to London with the jet from  the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.On board the jet   with her were two people,  Imotimi Agama and Haruna Momoh.The aircraft returned to Nigeria from London on March 23, conveying the same passengers.Another trip on March 9, 2013 departed the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos  en route to London.The passengers were Alison-Madueke, Abubakar Fari and  Momoh. The jet  returned to Nigeria on March 13 with the same passengers.

South East govs resolve to jointly tackle security challenges

Governors of the South East geopolitical zone, yesterday, rose from their meeting in Enugu with a resolve to jointly tackle various challenges being faced by people of the zone.Briefing newsmen at the end of the meeting, Chairman of the South East Governors’ Forum and Abia State Governor, Theodore Orji said the governors discussed how they could jointly tackle security in the zone.Governors of Enugu, Abia and Anambra State, Sullivan Chime, Theodore Orji and Willy Obiano were present at the meeting while their Ebonyi State counterpart, Martin Elechi was represented by his deputy, Dave Umahi.

Sanusi dragged to court over alleged N50bn fraud

Shareholders of the defunct Intercontinental Bank Plc, yesterday, dragged the suspended governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi ,before a Federal High Court in Abuja, accusing him of complicity in an alleged N50billion fraud.In a suit they entered through their lawyer, Chief Chris Uche, SAN, the plaintiffs, including Abdullahi M. Sani, Adaeze Onwuegbusi and Chijioke Ezeikpe, alleged that Sanusi, as the CBN governor, acted contrary to the provisions of sections 12, 32, 35 and 39 of the Banks and Other Financial Institutions Act, Cap B4 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004, by deliberately falsifying the actual financial state of affairs/solvency of Intercontinental Bank Plc and subsequently sold it to his cronies at a ridiculous sum of N50 billion.

A Jerry Rawlings solution for Nigeria

AS the crème de la crème  of the Nigerian intelligentsia are currently gathered in Abuja to craft a new roadmap for the country’s political future, there is a very popular option for solving the country’s problem that you can be sure they will not be discussing because many of them are politicians.  That option regularly comes up in discussions about how to address the malaise of corruption in Nigeria.Many Nigerians are convinced that the fail-safe solution to Nigeria’s endemic corruption is “the Jerry Rawlings solution.”  As Head-of-State of Ghana, Rawlings gathered together six of Ghana’s (mis)leaders and had them shot publicly by firing-squad.  Thus, Farida Waziri, former Chairman of the EFCC (Economic and Financial Crimes Commission) said: “If some 20 high-profile offenders are tried and sentenced to

FG moves to privatise refineries

The Federal Government appears set to privatise the nation’s four refineries in Port-Hacourt, Warri and Kaduna.Mr. Ben Dikki, the Director-General of the Bureau of  Public Enterprises, BPE, announced this at a briefing in Abuja, yesterday.He said however, that his team would first secure the cooperation of  labour leaders, especially in the oil industry before taking concrete steps in that regard.His words, “it should be noted that the labour unions have expressed their willingness to dialogue with government to develop

Boko Haram terrorists 74 killed in fresh Benue, Borno mayhem

IT was another day of bloodshed, yesterday, as 74 persons, including five policemen, were killed in separate incidents in Benue and Borno states even as Governor Gabriel Suswam of Benue State has called for military assistance to check the killings.There was tension in Makurdi, the Benue State capital, yesterday, following the alleged killing of no fewer than 63 persons at Tse-Agena, Mbalom district, Ikpayonge and Adeka market, Oweto in Gwer and Agatu  local government areas by suspected Fulani mercenaries.This came as Defence minster, Lt. Gen. Aliyu Gusau, lauded the armed forces and attributed their successes to the new found synergy