Stella Oduah, the lawmaker representing Anambra-North senatorial district was recently in the news for controversy bothering on the NYSC certificate scandal.
The Director-General of the NYSC, in a letter signed on his behalf by the Director, Press and Public Relations, Eddy Megwa, while responding to an inquiry by a group known as the Concerned Anambra North PDP Stakeholders said the lawmaker commenced her NYSC program in 1982 but absconded.
In a recent development, however, Oduah has ordered the National Youth Service Corps to retract the allegation that she did not complete her national service within 48 hours.
Meanwhile, this is not the first time Oduah would have her name tied to controversy. Nairametrics highlight some of the controversies she has been involved in the past.
Purchase of BMW bullet-proof cars with government fund
- In 2013, Stella was accused of using the funds of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to buy two BMW armoured cars worth N255 million for her personal use.
- The transaction was said to commence in June, but the request for the delivery of and payment for them was fast-tracked between August 13th and 15th of the same year.
- The two black BMW 760 Li HSS vehicles had chassis numbers WBAHP41050DW68032 and WBAHP41010DW68044, and were reportedly delivered to the NCAA in August 13, 2013.
- While her leave was regarded as voluntary resignation from the cabinet, media report says it is linked to the scandal involving the purchase of the BMW armoured cars.
- In 2017, Oduah and her company, Sea Petroleum and Gas Company Ltd were restrained from making any withdrawal from the company’s account and those of three other companies; Sea Shipping Agency Ltd, Rotary Engineering Services Ltd, and Tour Afrique Company Ltd, domiciled with 21 banks.
- This followed a court order over an alleged indebtedness of about $16.4 million and N100.5 million to Sterling Bank Plc.
- The bank had granted a lease on Cabotage Vessel Finance Facility to Sea Petroleum and Gas Company to finance one unit 5,000 MT tanker vessel which was secured by the company director, Stella Oduah.
- In 2019, the court ordered that the former aviation minister and her company pay the amount owed.
Claim of obtaining a Master’s degree from St Paul’s College
- In 2014, Stella was accused of lying about obtaining her Master’s degree at St. Paul’s College, the American University.
- According to a media report, the school denied awarding such honours, noting that it only confers undergraduate degrees as of the time it was reported.
- Meanwhile, Stella’s biography on the website of the Ministry of Aviation had referenced St. Paul’s College – before it was wiped out.
Secretly buying N5 billion worth of London properties
- In October 2021, an investigation led by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, including more than 600 journalists found that seven London properties are connected to Oduah.
- According to the investigation, one of the properties was in her name and two were through her Nigerian-incorporated firm while the remaining four were through her Seychelles offshore company.
- The latest controversy linked to the former minister is the NYSC certificate scandal. The National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, has said that Oduah does not have an NYSC certificate.
- The Director-General of the service said that even though Oduah was mobilised for national service in 1982/83 service year and was deployed to Lagos State, she absconded after the orientation and never completed the service.
Oduah’s response to NYSC
Meanwhile, responding to the allegation in a letter signed by Ezennia Nonso Chukwudebe, Director, Media/Publicity for Senator, Stella Oduah, she stated that the statement is irresponsible.
The statement reads in part “Our attention has just been drawn to a publication that makes a most spurious claim to the effect that the distinguished Senator representing Anambra North, Princess Stella Adaeze Oduah OON, absconded from the National Youth Service Corps programme. Ordinarily, we would never dignify such antics with a response but we deemed it necessary to put out this statement for the benefit of gullible minds that are being targeted by political jobbers whose stock in trade is churning out such concocted rubbish every election cycle, especially when it is becoming glaring that they are receiving the short end of the political stick.
“The Distinguished Senator indeed served meritoriously at NECA in 1982 as can be confirmed from this 11th January, 2017 clarification from the Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association personally signed by the Director General, O.A Oshinowo.
“How her opponents have suddenly resorted to circulating this story which is completely at variance with the position of the agency where she did her primary assignment is an issue every keen mind should focus on and we are by this publication, giving the NYSC sometime to put out a disclaimer as we firmly believe this letter to be fake.
“Senator Stella Oduah did not only serve meritoriously but would go on to work in the NNPC, a Federal Government establishment, for the next nine years!”