Culled from THE PUNCH
| credits: Goke Famadewa.
Protesters on Wednesday stormed the Lagos Office of the Independent Corrupt Practice and Other Related Offences Commission, requesting that the embattled Minister of Aviation, Ms Stella Oduah, be tried and jailed if found guilty.
The protesters, who stormed the ICPC office around 10.15am, defied confrontation by armed policemen who shot thrice into the air and civil defence officers to gain entrance into the premises of the commission.
Chairman of the Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders, Mr. Debo Adediran, who spoke on behalf of the protesters, said that many lives had been lost due to corruption in the aviation sector.
He said, “The purchase of the bulletproof cars is outrageous. It is the ICPC that should deal with anything that has to do with official corruption. Their reaction has been that they have not got a petition to act and that that is why investigation has not begun. Now we have submitted a petition, we want them to act.
“If Oduah is found guilty after the probe, we want her to go to jail; we want anybody found culpable to be prosecuted diligently, we want anybody found guilty to be adequately punished and until we get that we will not rest.
“It is saddening that the President who should set precedence for Nigerians to follow could be shielding the indicted and even include them in his entourage to Israel on holy pilgrimage. It is also not unlikely that Ms. Oduah is in the league of Mr. President’s benefactors.
“Though the President has set up a panel to investigate the allegations, but it must be noted that most of the time when President Jonathan sets up his panels, they are to bury the issues rather than bending it to justice.”
The protesters, who presented a petition to the ICPC, prayed that investigations should be commenced into the activities of the minister; the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority; Nigerian Airspace Management Agency; Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria; and other relevant agencies under the Ministry of Aviation.
Chief Superintendent of ICPC in Lagos, Mr. Binga Shintema, who attended to the protesters, assured them that their petition would be acted on.