Leadership (Abuja)

13 February 2013

Nigeria: Oduah Visits Lagos Airport Project Amidst Money Laundering Allegation

The Aviation Minister, Princess Stella Oduah, yesterday took a tour of the projects at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos, even as an online medium had published a report alleging that the minister was involved in a money laundering incident on her recent trip to Dubai.

The online report had alleged that the minister travelled to Dubai with "12 Boxes loaded with hard currency".

According to the report from naijagists.com, Stella Oduah allegedly travelled to Dubai with 12 boxes loaded with hard currency.

Oduah allegedly "attempted to cover her tracks by travelling with the Emirate flight that left Nigeria at around 10.00pm for Dubai. Under the cover of the night, the aviation minister arrived Lagos from Abuja, and instead of going through the arrival hall to the international wing of the Murtala Mohammed Airport, she was driven right from the tarmac to connect the Dubai-bound flight."

Efforts to get the official response on the allegation from the aviation ministry did not yield result.

However, an industry source said though the ministry officials were aware of the report, they did not feel obliged to comment because they said it was false.

"If we don't have confidence in the security operatives in Nigeria, at least we should have in the security officials in Dubai. She was never arrested in Nigeria or anywhere else", said an aviation source.

The minister however arrived at Lagos Airport yesterday and undertook a tour of the airport projects, especially the terminal building of the international wing of the airport which is undergoing remodelling.

Mr. Yakubu Dati, spokesman for the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) confirmed the visit.

On if the minister was impressed with the progress of work at the airport and on when the remodeled terminal would be commissioned, Dati said, "There is no statement on the visit yet, just that she is visiting sites."

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