Alleged Fake News: NCAA Vows Legal Action Against Online News Medium | Independent Newspaper Nigeria

2024-04-29 20:15:35

Independent Newspapers Nigeria

ABUJA - The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) on Monday denied allegations that its Director General, DG, Capt. Chris Najomo, purchased a 2022 Toyota Landcruiser (70th Anniversary Edition) worth over N250m.

An Online news medium, (Not Independent) had earlier accused the current DG in a report of being enmeshed in alleged financial recklessness, violations of government procurement regulations, and gross abuse of office few months after appointment.

The report had claimed that an insider disclosed this information, also alleging that there was no appropriation approval by the National Assembly in the NCAA budget for the purchase of this particular vehicle.

The report also alleged that the acting director general also approved foreign training for 109 staff at a cost of over N1 billion within the week he assumed duty as acting DG.

But, reacting to this allegations during a press conference, on Monday, in Abuja, the Director, Public Affairs and Consumer Protection, NCAA, Mr. Michael Achimugu, described the report as a spurious and sponsored attempt to rubbish the agency.

This was even as the aviation agency threatened to sue the publisher of the online medium if the news story was not taken down.

He emphasized that as a responsible government agency, they follow strict procurement processes and guidelines.

He said: "The NCAA has not paid any dime, not just 250 million naira, any amount of money for any vehicle anywhere in the world and you can quote me on that and I did challenge this person to present any evidence and I will tender my resignation letter the same day and I will ask the for the DG to resign as well.

"I say this with every confidence that the NCAA has not paid any money for any vehicle anywhere. To purchase anything. Here, you must go through a process -- you cannot escape it and we have not been through that process, how then did we purchase a vehicle worth N250m.

"Also that figure goes above the purview of the DG to approve by himself so how did this happen? How will you publish an investigative story without putting the evidence? So, I believe very strongly that it is a sponsored attempt to denigrate not only the person of the DG NCAA but everybody who is proud to work in NCAA

"Also, most of this is premised on the statement made by the Minister that the Aviation Industry is corrupt, but when the Minister spoke about corruption what he meant is that there is systemic corruption in the industry he did not say Captain Chris Najomo is corrupt .

"So, the Minister's statement cannot be validated for the highly vexation, defamatory and libelous comment. How do you publish a story without putting out the evidence you claim to have?"

On the issue of seized fund, he said: "The issue of seized fund is not peculiar to NCAA alone all the aviation agencies have their money seized and despite the seizure NCAA still remit money to the federal government who in turns deduct 50 percent and remit back to the agency.

On the issue of training it is important for our staff to go on trainings and retraining because as a regulator you must be on top of your

On the approval and payment for trainings, Mr Achimugu said, "due to the nature of job of the NCAA, the staff will always undergo trainings and re-trainings. Trainings have been approved and payments made and the staff involved will go for the training when the time comes. The only reason for the delay is because of the ban on foreign trips by the president. Once the ban is lifted, they will go for their training."

While commenting the achievements of the director-general in the last four months, Achimugu said Captain Najomo has effected the "payment of backlog of Housing (rent) arrears to all staff that had accumulated from 2019, among others."

2024-04-29 News