Minister spends N2bn on private jets -Group petitions EFCC

Nigeria Newspapers – A non-governmental organisation, the Crusaders for Good Governance, has, in a petition sent to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), alleged that a serving minister had, in the last two years, spent over N2 billion on private jets, with which the said minister attends private and official assignments.

The petition, which was also received by the Nigerian Tribune at the weekend, indicated that the said minister had refused to make use of presidential jets even when available.

Minister spends N2bn on private jets – Group petitions EFCC

In the petition endorsed by one Okechukwu Obiorah Nnamdi for the Enugu-based group, the minister was accused of maintaining a private jet at the cost of $500,000 per month at a private hanger in Lagos.

It was also alleged that the minister regularly made use of the private jet on trips abroad at the cost of $300,000 per trip.

The group challenged the EFCC to uncover the excessive spending of the said minister.

The petition, addressed to the chairman of EFCC, read in part: “we must not mince words to tell you the home truth, not many Nigerians are fans of the EFCC right now, because a lot of them believe that the commission has been consumed by the monster called corruption.

“But we, in our avowed march against the tide, have decided to give our best to stop the ceaseless drain on our patrimony through the hemorrhage called corruption. We believe though this is a herculean task, we must give our all to salvage the situation, since we have no other country to bequeath to our children.

“In the light of the above, sir, we are calling your attention to a monumental act of corruption, abuse of office and reckless application of public funds by a serving minister.”

Minister spends N2bn on private jets – Group petitions EFCC

Giving details of the alleged financial dealings, the group said the minister had not only maintained a private jet at $500,000 (about N80 million) per month, the cost was said to be defrayed by a federal agency.

The group also said the minister’s frequent trips to Europe and on official engagements were done through private jets.

The group said when President Goodluck Jonathan visited South Africa, the minister was on the trip but preferred to use a jet that cost $300,000 (about N48 million).

The same scenario was said to have played out when President Jonathan visited China, with the minister travelling with the jet at the cost of $300,000.

The sum of $500,000 paid monthly to maintain the jet was, according to the petition, being defrayed by a government agency.

The group insisted that the said minister had refused to make use of commercial or presidential jets in the last two years, thus grossing over N2 billion to maintain the private jet so far.

The group also challenged the EFCC to crosscheck its facts from aviation agencies which, it said, had records of all flights to and within Nigeria.

“We are of the view that President Jonathan is not aware of all these atrocious and reckless spending of the minister. Usually, we understand that smaller presidential jets are usually assigned to transport minister on official assignments abroad whenever there is the need for such trips.

“Chairman, we make bold to ask in good conscience whether Nigeria’s fragile economy can afford to carry this financial burden any longer and that is why we are calling on you to act and provide the new lease of life for the Nigerian economy.

“We demand that you carry out thorough investigation of all the above which are easily verifiable through the aviation agencies,” it further petitioned.

Calls put through to the telephone line of EFCC spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren, on Sunday, indicated that his line was switched off, while he did not reply a text message sent to him as of the time of going to press.

Nigerian Tribune

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