Bullet Proof Cars: Coscharis Lied To Us The Cars Were Ordered For Lagos Sports Festival, Says Nigerian Custom
At the resumed hearing of the House committee probing the controversial purchase of the bulltet proof cars, the Nigerian Custom Service represented by the Deputy Comptroller General, Manasa Daniel Jatau, revealed that Coscharis lied to the Ministry of Finance and NSA, making them to believe that the cars were for Lagos state government, for the National Sports festival. The NSA office issued End User certificate without knowing that it was doing so for cars to be delivered to Stella Oduah or the NCAA.
Jatau stated that: “The two cars were imported through Tin Can Port 2; Imported from Antwerp Netherlands. The vehicles were cleared 19/6/2013. Coscharis imported the cars without paying import duties since there was a waiver from the ministry of finance.
Coscharis obtained the waiver claiming the armoured cars were part of 300 vehicles imported for the Sports festival in Lagos last year, and therefore the beneficiary was Lagos state government. The due import duty should have been N10.1 million.
The cars had an End User Certificate from the NSA office in the name of Coscharis. The waiver obtained by Coscharis was for one year; as such the time of importation this year was covered.
Customs admit its laws requires that it enforces duty on any item for which waiver was obtained, which was not used for the purpose stated-in this case, for Sports festival.”
But in its own testimony, the Chief Executive of Coscharis admitted telling the Ministry of Finance/NSA the cars were meant for Lagos state government, but said the arrangement was a usual “sponsor practice” for an event like the sports festival.
The company insists it did not lie, saying that during events the company gives cars for use by government, in exchange for waivers that would be used for importing new ones as replacement. Coscharis said it price was right.
Coscharis also claimed the car in question goes for about N87.7 million (factory price) without tax, shipping etc. But a lawmaker has confirmed that he received a quotation from an American firm for the same car for about N42 million.
But when asked by Jerry Manwe, a member of the committee thus: “Your own bullet proof is not manufactured in the moon?” Coscharis replied that a seven series in America is different from what they got from Europe.
To the best of my knowledge, we followed all due process. We were interviewed by SSS. We were interviewed by the National Security Adviser. Every due process by law was followed. “We do business with morality,” he adds.
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