A fresh insight into the report of the House of Representatives Committee on Aviation on the probe of the controversial two armoured cars shows that 12 infractions are standing against the name of embattled Aviation Minister Stella Oduah.
The vehicles were bought at a total cost of N255 million by the National Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) allegedly for the minister in violation of due process.
Both the minister and the agency have denied any breach of the rules and said the vehicles were for operational use only.
However, the committee in its 20-page report, which was laid before the plenary of the House of Representatives on Thursday, said it traced massive violations of the rules by the minister in the transaction for 54 cars, including the BMW armoured cars, by the NCAA.
The committee said it discovered that on April 25, 2013, the minister approved NCAA’s request to procure 55 operational vehicles valued at N564, 665,000.00.
The agency then went ahead to secure a loan of N643, 088,250 for 54 vehicles.
But it could not explain what it wanted to do or did with the balance of N78, 423,250.
The panel also said it could not trace one of the disputed BMW cars based on the chassis numbers on the receipt issued by Coscharis Motors Limited.
The House has not fixed a date for the consideration of the report.
The report reads in part: “The 2013 Appropriation Act provides for the purchase of 25 vehicles at the of N240,000,000 namely (i) Toyota Pickup Hilux(5); (ii) Toyota Corolla(10); (iii) Toyota Land Cruiser(5); (iv) Toyota Hiace(3); and (v) Security Inspection Vehicles for Safety/Security(2).
“That there was no appropriation for the purchase of two (2) bulletproof (armoured cars) in 2013 Appropriation Act.
“NCAA proposal for the purchase of the two BMW armoured cars worth N140million was earlier rejected by the Committee. What was provided for in the budget were two security vehicles for inspection of perimeter fence.
“That Hon. Minister of Aviation claimed that the purchase of two (2) bulletproof BMW armoured cars were provided for in the 2013 Budget of the NCAA. This submission by the Hon. Minister is incorrect.
“The 2013 Appropriation provides for two operational/security vehicles for the inspection of perimeter fences and not two (2) BMW bulletproof cars as purported by the Minister and NCAA.
“On April 15, 2013, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) applied to the Hon. Minister of Aviation via a memo NCAA/DG/04/1/13 for approval to acquire a total of 51 operational vehicles at a total cost of N564, 665,000.00.
“NCAA’s application was approved by the Hon. Minister via a memo FMA/NCAA/ T44555/5.6/T2/136 dated April 25, 2013. This approval contradicts the following:
• The 25 operational vehicles approved in NCAA 2013 Budget
• The approval value is above the limit of Ministerial Tenders Board. Whereas the approved revised thresholds for service wide application pursuant to Section 16(2) Public Procurement Act 2009(as amended) a minister’s limit is N100million, in approving N564, 665,000 as evidence Ref. No. /FMA/T44555/S.6/T2/136. She was in breach of the law.
• No evidence of Due Process was shown by NCAA/Ministry of Aviation
“The Hon. Minister of Aviation also claimed that the lease financing arrangement would ensure that NCAA pays N100million by the end of 2013 fiscal year while the balance of N16million will be paid in the following years.
“This amount according to the Minister fell below what is required for the Federal Executive Council (FEC) approval.”
The panel said that while documents from NCAA indicated that on April 25, 2013 the minister approved the agency’s request to procure 55 operational vehicles valued at N564, 665,000.00, “there is no evidence to show that the Hon. Minister presented NCAA’s request to FEC for its approval.
“Furthermore, the attempt to procure now and pay later is against the Extant Laws of the Federation.”
On the armoured car which it claimed it could not trace during investigation, the panel said: “The stored receipt of NCAA in respect of the two (2) BMW vehicles bears chassis No. DW68044 and DW68032.
“Upon physical inspection of the vehicles in the custody of NCAA by the Aviation Committee, two BMW vehicles were cited and inspected DW68011 and DW68044.
“The BMW vehicle with chassis number DW68032 was not seen. Messrs Coscharis explanation on this issue is not supported by
The panel made seven recommendations to the House of Representatives as follows:
• Given the fact that the two BMW armoured vehicles procured in the process were not provided for in the 2013 Appropriation Law nor was due process followed in their procurement, the Ministry of Aviation and NCAA should terminate with immediate effect all transactions and loan agreement it entered into with First Bank Nigeria Plc and all contracts awarded thereto;
• That all monies so far spent on the entire transaction should be recovered and returned back to the Federation Account;
• The President, Federal Republic of Nigeria should review the continued engagement of the Hon. Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah, having contravened the Appropriation Act and Approved Revised Thresholds by exceeding her approval limit of N100m with the purchase of 54 vehicles value at N643m
• That EFCC and other relevant anti-corruption agencies should: (a) Further investigate the discrepancies in the chassis Number DW68032 of the vehicles on the one reported to be delivered and the one inspected by the committee; and (b) Further investigate and if found wanting, prosecute all persons/ institutions involved in the transaction
• The former Acting DG, Mr. Nkemakola Joyce, and Director of Finance, Mr. S. Ozigi, should be sanctioned in accordance with the Civil Service Rules for deliberately breaching the 2013 Appropriation Act/ Extant Laws of the Federation
• That Coscharis Motors Nigeria Limited should be investigated on the issue of waiver, source and exact cost of the two BMW vehicles supplied to NCAA;
• Coscharis should be made to pay the value of the waiver into treasury account.