1 2 3 4 5
Published On: Tue, Nov 5th, 2013

BMW Scam:EFCC Interrogates Coscharis MD, May File Charges against Him

Coscharis Managing Director, Josiah Samuel

LAGOS NOVEMBER 5TH ( URHOBOTODAY)-Weeks after news of a fraudulent car scam broke in Nigeria’s Ministry of Aviation, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday stepped into the matter by interrogating in its Abuja offices, Josiah Samuel, the Managing Director of Coscharis Motors Limited, a supplier of the two BMW armored cars at the center of purchase scam linked to the minister of aviation, Ms. Stella Oduah.
There was no word as to whether the agency also interviewed the Minister.

The agency has in addition quietly quizzed some First Bank officials believed to have aided the scam.
The EFCC has been roundly criticized by Nigerians for failure to live up to the law since the scandal broke. One of Nigeria’s most popular newspapers, The PUNCH also revealed last week that officials at the EFCC are too afraid to act because of the body language of President Goodluck Jonathan, who appears hell-bent on covering up the scam.
SaharaReporters sources said that the MD was interrogated for several hours by agents of the EFCC and then let go around 4:00 PM Nigerian time yesterday, today he returned for further questioning.
The chairman of the auto dealership, Cosmos Maduka, is also expected to be grilled by the EFCC over new revelations that he defrauded the federal government during Nigeria’s 50th Independence Anniversary in 2010.
During a public hearing of the House of Representatives Committee on Aviation, Mr. Maduka made startling revelations. He stated that he was told to inflate the cost of the cars as he tried to obtain an “End User Certificate” from the office of the National Security Adviser (NSA).
Maduka also revealed that he paid no duties on the cars as he used a duty waiver granted the Lagos State government to import three BMW armored cars. The Lagos State government and the Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala who issued the waiver, have vehemently denied that the waivers covered bullet-proof cars.
The Finance Minister appeared before the house committee yesterday to reinforce her denial.
Staffers of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) have also reiterated to SaharaReporters that while the cars were paid for in full through a loan secured from First Bank of Nigeria PLC, Mr. Maduka and Mrs Oduah, for whom the cars were purchased, never delivered the cars physically to the NCAA. This is particularly important because according to them, the Acting MD of NCAA, Joyce Nkemakolam, had forced junior officers of the agency to sign paperwork claiming they had seen and inspected the cars as of last August.
Last week, Tuesday, however, two cars mysteriously appeared at the Abuja airport to be inspected by House committee members, but the members were shocked to find out that the chassis number on the cars presented to them were totally different from the ones Coscharis claimed it sold to the cash strapped agency. When the cars were later driven to the premises of the NCAA, senior officials there quickly had them covered with tarpaulin to avoid further scrutiny.
A staff source said when they were asked to check the cars out they found out they had been in use for long, with one of them filled with cigarette butts.
EFCC interrogators today said they were looking forward to filing charges against the auto dealer for economic crimes relating to money laundering, abuse of waivers and forgery of federal government documents.
Curiously, EFCC officials did not officially state why the Minister at the centre of the scam and many officials who helped perpetrate the scam has not been invited for interrogation.
Source: Saharareporters

Subscribe to our newsletter for news update:

About the Author


Leave a comment

XHTML: You can use these html tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Konga Verified Blogger

Konga Verified Blogger