Nigeria Says Aviation Minister to Be Targeted by False Charges

Nigeria’s Aviation Ministry says “big players” in the airline industry hired a person it didn’t identify to spread false information about the minister, Stella Oduah.

The plan is being carried out by individuals “in the aviation sector who have not been comfortable with the sweeping reforms taking place,” Joe Obi, a spokesman for the minister in Abuja, said today in an e-mailed statement. The person received millions of naira and will call a press conference to reveal documents containing “malicious” information about the minister, Obi said, citing “reliable sources” he didn’t name.

The goal is to increase opposition to her in the National Assembly over Dana Airlines Ltd.’s resumption of operations, Obi said. Parliamentary members rejected the government’s decision to allow Dana Airlines to resume flights before the conclusion of the investigation into the crash of one of its planes in June.

The airline resumed operations on Jan. 4, with a flight carrying celebrities and reporters from the commercial capital, Lagos, to Abuja.

A Dana Airlines Boeing Co. MD-83 plane from Abuja carrying 146 passengers and seven crew members crashed into buildings on approach to Lagos on June 3, killing all 153 on board.

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