N66m Jet Charter Allegation Trails Dogara
BEVERLY HILLS, July 17, (THEWILL) – Indications emerged Friday that next week's sitting of the House of Representatives may witness fireworks against the backdrop of Speaker Yakubu Dogara's letter to the leadership of the All Progressives Congress, APC, over the appointment of the House leaders and an allegation that he squandered N66 million on chartered aircraft.
But those close to the Speaker claimed he only spent about N3.9million on an 80-minute return trip from Abuja to Delta State, stressing that the money was not drawn from the coffers of the House.
A member of the House, who craved anonymity, told THEWILL that: “The chartered aircraft palaver is being circulated among House members because of the alleged N66 million cost. We do not know whether the amount was real or imaginary. But it remains in the realm of allegation.
“The challenge is that he who comes to equity must do so with clean hands. With the robust Legislative Agenda put in place by Dogara, this is no time for such a luxury. The same House of Representatives joined issues with the immediate past Minister of Petroleum Resources on the charter of a Bombardier aircraft.
“Dogara needs to explain to members what really transpired. No APC member is expected to indulge in this type of luxury because the party came into office with an austere agenda.”
But an aide to the Speaker, who also craved anonymity, said: “ It appears that those behind the allegation of N66million have another motive.
“As at the time the Speaker made the trip to Delta State, there was no commercial flight at all.
“It became necessary for him to use a chartered aircraft. The cost of the service was only N3.9million for a 40-minute flight to and from Delta State. Altogether, it was 80 minutes. And the aircraft only dropped the Speaker and returned to pick him and his entourage after his church assignment. Let me also clarify that the Speaker does not own a private jet.”