- A Justice Obiora Nwazota panel revealed that two Nigeria Airways staff diverted $17.6 million meant for the payment of aircraft
- The committee recommended that the huge sum of money be recovered from both individuals: Major General Olu Bajowa (rtd) and Captain Mohammed Joji
- Despite the government’s acceptance of the recommendation, however, the funds were never recovered
Findings by the Justice Obiora Nwazota panel set up by the Nigerian government to probe financial diversion in Nigeria Airways, revealed that $17.6 million meant for the payment of two aircraft, payment of commission and D-check for a Boeing 737 aircraft, were jointly diverted by two staff of the defunct national carrier.
According to Sahara Reporters, the panel’s whitepaper draft report to the government was submitted on May 8, 2002 and directed, as part of its recommendations, that Major General Olu Bajowa (rtd) and Captain Mohammed Joji be forced to refund the sums to the government.
Legit.ng gathers that the committee recommended that the sum of $4.35 million, which was deposited for the botched purchase of MD 11 and ATR aircraft, should be refunded to Nigeria Airways Limited (NAL) by Bajowa.
However, the airline never recovered the money.
The committee also recommended that Joji, an erstwhile managing director of NAL, refund the sum of $9.8 million to NAL as payment he purportedly made to Sabena, as the commission for purchase of aircraft.
The panel’s investigation, however, revealed that Joji never made any such payment to the company.
Joji was also directed to refund the sum of $3,531,358.50 being the cost of the D-check on a B737 aircraft.
Despite the government’s acceptance of the recommendation, however, the fund was never recovered and Joji still walks the streets free.
The panel’s report was made public in 2002, a year before the airline was liquidated and the government had subsequently been challenged to implement the recommendations by several analysts.
However, the government is yet to do this, 17 years after.
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Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that some pensioners and ex-workers of the defunct Nigeria Airways gave accounts of the trauma and untold hardship they went through for the more than 14 years they were retrenched without payment of their pensions and benefits.
The pensioners and ex-workers said they went through hardship before the present administration of President Muhammadu Buhari came to the rescue.
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