FG to prosecute persons indicted in Airways probe white paper

  • Ministry to begin payment to ex-airways workers
As the  Federal Ministry of Finance begin the payment of severance benefits to former workers of   Nigeria Airways Limited this week, Federal Government is planning to initiate prosecution of persons indicted in the Justice Obiora Nwazota Judicial Commission of Inquiry White Paper.
Government it was learnt is looking into how to recover  huge sums of money  from individuals, organizations and agencies that mismanaged the airline.
The Justice Obiora Nwazota , who  served as chairman of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry  submitted its white paper to government in 2002.
A source said government  is constituting a team to initiate a probe into how the fortunes of the rested airline dwindled before it closed shops.
In particular, the President it was learnt intends to look at the white paper on the Report of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry for the investigation of the management of Nigeria Airways Limited between 1983 – 1999.
The white paper indicted some high profile Individuals and organizations/ agencies  from whom various sums running into billions of Naira.
The panel was mandated to the financial position and financial management of  Airways to examine all books of account and records to ascertain their compliance with appropriate regulations.
The panel was to investigate the application of funds, including budgetary allocations, special grants , loans for specific projects and proceeds from the sale of its product and services as well as verify , evaluate , ascertain the authentic level of indebtedness between 1983 and 1999.
Confirming the development, Chairman of Aviation Union Grand Alliance ( AUGA) and Chairman of Ex – Airways Workers , Comrade Lookman Animashaun said though the workers and pensioners are excited over the approval for payment of their severance benefits, they want Buhari to ask questions on how the airline was ruined .
He said the President should go beyond asking questions but insist on the implementation of the recommendations in the White Paper released by the Justice Obiora Nwazota Judicial Commission of Inquiry .
Animashaun said looking into the recommendations of the White Paper could not be more apt than now, when the Justice Nwazota is still alive to give credence to the contents of the document.
He said ex- Airways workers would want Buhari to push for the prosecution of politically exposed persons who were indicted in the White Paper , but straddle across the political landscape untouched.
Animashaun said :” Though we thank President Muhammadu Buhari for approving the release of our severance benefits, but we learnt the president has started asking questions on what led to the collapse of the the firmer national carrier .
“Beyond asking questions, Buhari must ensure government goes back to the white paper and institute a commission of inquiry , more so that Justice Obiora Nwazota is still alive.
“Every recommendation in the white paper should be implemented to the letter and the names of persons inducted in the report should be prosecuted .It is only when government does this that the wounds inflicted on the psyche of former workers of the rested national carrier would heal .”
Wole Shadare