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NCAA Can’t Find Documents On Oduah's N255M Armoured BMW Cars

The controversy trailing the purchase of two BMW armoured cars for the minister of aviation, Ms Stella Oduah, has taken a ridiculous dimension.

The agency at the centre of the controversial purchase of the bulletproof vehicles and the nation’s civil aviation body, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, has denied that it has documents relating to the acquisition of the bulletproof vehicles.

The development came as indications emerged that Oduah may be barred from attending the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meetings until the conclusion of investigations.

Curiously, NCAA’s denial which came after a seven-day ultimatum given to it by a human rights activist, Mr Femi Falana (SAN), to furnish his law firm with information pertaining to the transaction also contradicts its statement before the House of Representatives Committee on Aviation that the procurement of the “operational vehicles” was provided for in the NCAA’s budget.

Falana had last week invoked the provision of the Freedom of Information (FoI) Act when he wrote the NCAA director-general, Mr Fola Akinkuotu, demanding the documents, including those of budgetary approval and due process for the whole transaction as well as all the papers of past acquisition of such armoured cars by the aviation ministry or the NCAA as claimed by Akinkuotu.

But in its reply to the request dated October 23, 2013, through the NCAA legal adviser, Mr E.K Chukwuma, Akinkuotu said documents relating to the latest purchase or even previous purchases of such cars are not in the possession of the NCAA.

The letter obtained by LEADERSHIP yesterday reads: “I am directed to your letter dated 21st October 2013 on the above matter (Request for information on N255m armoured cars for Aviation Minister, Ms Stella Oduah) and to inform you that the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority is not in possession of any document relating to the purchase of armoured cars for the Aviation Minister, Ms Stella Oduah.

“With regard to your request for records of previous purchase of armoured cars by the Aviation Ministry or NCAA, I am to inform you that the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority does not have such records.”

Not satisfied, Falana noted yesterday that he would relate this latest position of the NCAA to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, as a back-up to a petition he had written to it.

The letter from Falana to NCAA demanding the document had stated: “In your press conference at Abuja held on Friday, October 18, 2013, you did admit that the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) actually bought the controversial armoured cars and that ‘it is customary’ to convey the Minister and visiting dignitaries in security vehicles whenever they are in Nigeria.

“In the light of your claim at the said press conference, we are compelled to request you to make available to us certified true copies of the documents relating to the purchase of the cars, including budgetary approval and due process for the entire transaction.

“Since you claimed that it is customary to purchase such cars for Aviation Minister and visiting foreign dignitaries, you are also requested to provide the records of previous purchase of armoured cars by the Aviation Ministry or the NCAA. Take notice that you are mandatorily required to supply the requested information within SEVEN DAYS of the receipt of this letter by virtue of the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act, 2011.”

Armoured cars also missing in NSA’s security list
The controversial bulletproof cars for Stella
Oduah are not on the national security
adviser’s (NSA) official list of armoured cars
available anywhere in Nigeria.
Ordinarily, NO car dealer or end user, including private individuals, security agencies and government parastatals, can bring in
armoured cars into the country without obtaining end user certificates from the office of the NSA in Abuja.

Reporting that no authorization certificate was
ever issued to either the minister or the NCAA
to procure the controversial vehicles, a source
said: “We have thoroughly checked our list and I can confirm that at no time did we issue end user certificate to anyone to procure any such cars. It is likely the cars do not exist and that the documents were either forged to steal public funds.
“But if the cars indeed exist, the minister, the NCAA and Coscharis Motors will have to explain why they sneaked vehicles into our country without authorisation. It is a serious violation, and the minister and other people involved have a lot of explanations to make