followed due process, Coscharis tell committee…You deceived
us; Customs tells Coscharis

Fejiro Oliver
The committee that sat to
hear the controversy surrounding the controversial BMW armored cars saga where shocked
to their bone marrow as the lady in the centre of the storm refused to show up
to defend herself, despite ample time given to her. “Absence of the minister is
a slap on the face of the House,” said Jerry Manwe, a member of the committee
from Taraba state.

The hearing which was to
begin by 12 noon started 25 minutes late. Chairman of Coscharis group, Cosmas
Maduka during his presentation told the committee that all due processes were
followed in the purchase of the car. According to him, the SSS and National
Security Adviser interviewed them before they made order for the car.
He stated that the BMW
which is currently causing commotion in the country is the B7 BMW 760 series
which is the highest for civilian and VIP armored cars while anyone higher than
it is for military tanks. The B7 series which was bought by NCAA is sold for
418,000 Euros direct from the factory without tax and shipping cost, he told
the committee.
In a bid to prove to them
how the price for the vehicles were arrived at, he offered to demonstrate to
them through powerpoint, but was disallowed by the committee. He noted that the
current travails of the minister caused by the purchase of the BMW was
politically motivated. “We do business with morality”, he submitted.
First Bank who financed
the cars were unable to explain to the committee how the loan given to NCAA for
all its 54 cars climbed from earlier stated N564 million to N643 million,
claiming that the BMW cars were not initially included in the earlier bargain. The
First Bank representative, Mr. Seyi Oyefeso, who represented the CEO of the
bank noted that First Bank was invited
to make proposals alongside other banks and tender was opened publicly on 21 of
May, 2013 in the presence of other banks and media after which First Bank was
afterwards shortlisted alongside 7 others. First Bank granted a loan facility
of N643 million for purchase of assorted cars.
further questioned on the disparity of the sum paid for the vehicles by the
House Chair, Nkiruka Onyejeocha, the bank shifted the answer to NCAA saying
that  “Our job as financier are
based on what the customers are asking for”
There was however a twist
of event as the Customs representatives at the hearing told the committee that
Coscharis lied to the Ministry of Finance and NSA into making them believe that
the vehicles were meant for the Lagos State government which will be used during
the National Sports festival. According to the Deputy Director General of
Customs, Manasa Daniel Jatau, the two BMW were imported from Antwerp,
Netherland through Tin Can Port 2 and were cleared on 19/6/2013.
He told the committee that
waiver was thereafter given to Coscharis who claimed that the armored cars were
part of the 300 vehicles being imported by the Lagos State government, as part
of the NSF, thus not paying the import duty of N10.1 million since there was a
waiver from the ministry of finance
as well as having an End User Certificate from the NSA
office in the name of Coscharis for one year.

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