We didn’t buy car for N298m, says spokesman
The investigation of the Senate into alleged purchase of an SUV Range Rover with fake documents by the President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki, was stalled yesterday.
That was as a result of the failure of the Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, to appear before the Senate committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions investigating the matter. Chairman of the committee, Sam Anyanwu, had on Monday announced that the Customs would make presentation to defend the allegation that the Senate President bought the vehicle with fake papers. But the Customs failed to appear before the Committee as proposed, as Anyanwu said that his committee waited for the agency but they failed to show up.
He said the committee might proceed to compile its report and submit to Senate while stating however, that the committee would meet to take appropriate decision on the next step to take.
Meanwhile, the Senate, yesterday, described as false reports alleging that it purchased the controversial bullet proof SUV Range Rover at the cost of N298m. Spokesman of the Senate, Senator Aliyu Sabi, at a media briefing yesterday, described the report on the price of the vehicle as false and mischievous, saying that the actual cost of the vehicle was N62.5m.
He said:”The reports in the media about the price of the vehicle which the Senate was said to have bought as part of its convoy but was later abandoned when it got impounded by the Customs over controversy surrounding import duty payment is false and mischievous.
“The correct price of the vehicle when it was imported in 2015 is $298,000 which at the prevailing rate of N165 to a dollar is about N49, 170.
“The Senate paid N62.5m for the vehicle in November 2015. This is contrary to the mischief by those who decided to turn the $298,000 to N298m as the price of the vehicle.
For the avoidance of doubt, the price of that vehicle is N62.5m and not N298m.”
He further stated that Senate would appreciate it if all reports relating to the legislative institution, particularly on the vehicle matter, were reported with accuracy and all facts put in proper perspective. “We urge journalists to avoid sensationalism.
The Senate is a responsible institution and those who believe that when they have issues to explain before it, the next thing to do is to resort to falsehood, blackmail, muckraking and mud-slinging, should know that they are just overheating the polity and undermining our democratic institution,” Sabi added.
The Senate, he said, “wishes to reiterate its total commitment to upholding the rule of law and to work for Nigerians, in accordance with the constitution.”