Friday, 8 November 2013

N225 Million Car Scandal: 'Stella Oduah Is A Serial Liar' - House Of Rep Committee On Aviation


The House of Representatives Committee on Aviation has concluded that Mrs. Stella Oduah, the Minister, is a serial liar.

In a report on its investigation obtained by SaharaReporters, the committee dismissed every single claim the Minister made during her testimony to the committee earlier in the week concerning the purchase of two bulletproof cars for her by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).

It stressed there was no appropriation for the purchase of the two armoured cars, and stressed that the NCAA proposal for the purchase of the two MBW armoured cars was rejected.

“There was no provision for armoured vehicle in Nigerian law for a minister in any event, any procurement for an armoured vehicle must be provided for in the appropriation act and backed by relevant approval,” the report said.
The committee also noted that the Minister and the Director-General of the NCAA claimed that both vehicles were purchased under a lease agreement with First Bank plc.

“The assertion is not true because First Bank plc clearly stated that they were procured under auto loan, this is clearly shown by the loan agreement between NCAA and First Bank.”

Furthermore, it said, “The document submitted shows that BMW chassis No. DW68044 and DW68032 while on ground committee inspect BMW vehicle chassis No. DW68044 and W68011 , the identity of W68011 is still unknown to the committee because the vehicle chassis  number did not tally with the documents submitted.”

Turning to other testimonies, the committed recalled that the Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, clearly stated in her presentation that her Ministry did not approve any waiver for the two vehicles.

“Coscharis Motors Limited claimed that the Federal Ministry of Finance granted it import duty VAT, ETLS, CISS, and port charges waiver to import two number bullet proof BMW armored cars, this claim is false. The Hon. Minister of Finance in the testimony before the committee stated that the Federal Ministry of Finance only granted waivers to Lagos State Government through Coscharis Motors Limited in 2012 for the importation of 300 units vehicles for use during the 2012 Eko Games and that the waiver did not include the importation of two BMW armored cars.”

Similarly, both Mrs. Oduah and the DG of NCAA claimed in their presentation that the procurement of the operations vehicles complied with the relevant laws of public procurement, fiscal responsibility and due process. This claim was countered by the Bureau of Public Procurement assertion that it was not part of the transaction between NCAA, First Bank and Coscharis Motors Limited to procure the operational vehicles. Furthermore, no evidence at complying with due process was shown however.”
The committee further recalled that Mrs. Oduah also testified that the lease financing arrangement would see NCAA pay N100m by the end of 2013 fiscal year while the balance of N16m will be paid in the following year.  The amount, according to the Minister, fell below what is required for Federal Executive Council (FEC) approval.

“However, documents from NCAA indicate that on April 25th 2013, the Hon. Minister approved the sum of N564, 665,000,00m.  There is no evidence to show that the Hon. Minister presented NCAA’s request to Federal Executive Council for its approval.”

The committed observed that neither the Minister of Aviation and NCAA submitted copies of necessary documents to validate the claim that the transactions followed due process whatsoever.
“The pre-shipping inspection end-user certificate issued by the office of National Security Adviser (NSA) to Coscharis Motors Limited is for three nos armoured BMW 760 Li High Security vehicles  with chassis number DW68032, DW68044 and DW68047,” the committee said.

“From the records Coscharis Motors delivered to the NCAA two nos armoured BMW cars with chassis number DW68032 and DW68044, Coscharis may have to explain the ownership and whereabouts of the third armoured car with chassis number DW68047, since neither of the three armoured cars had approval.”

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