[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he Nigerian Senate has resolved to investigate its president, Bukola Saraki, over an allegation that he bought an imported bulletproof Range Rover, which was not only under-invoiced but found with fake customs clearing documents.
Following an overwhelmed reports by online publications, including Motoring World International and Sahara Reporters, concerning the real reason why the Senate had been at war with the Comptroller General of the Nigerian Custom Service, Col. Hameed Alli (rtd), an APC Senator from Borno South senatorial District, Ali Ndume, during plenary on Tuesday raised a point of order, drawing attention of the house to Sahara Reporters’ recent investigative reports, concerning impounded armored N298 million Range Rover SUV allegedly imported by the Senate for Senator Saraki’s official use.
It would be recalled that Motoring World’s Kickstarter columnist hinted, last week, that the Senate war against the Nigerian Customs Service(NCS) was not unconnected with the fact that certain members of the upper legislative chamber were having imported vehicles on which little or no custom duties had been paid.
Sahara Reporters, another online publication with an investigative reports backed up by documents sourced from the NCS, revealed that the real reason why the senate had been on war path with col. Ali was because of his failure to order a release of the said BulletProof Range Rover, which the NCS seized from the Senate president’s driver after it was found with fake custom documents.
It was also alleged that even in the fake custom documents, the amount of custom duties claimed to have been paid on the car indicated under-invoicing.
According to the online media reports, the Nigerian Senate mounted pressure on the NCS to, without condition, release the vehicle impounded on 17th of January 2017, an order which the service defied, which was why the Senate has been pounding orders on Col. Alli, insisting that he must appear before it in Uniform of the NCS.
However, responding to the developments on Tuesday, media aide to the Senate President, Yusuph Olaniyonu, absolved the Senate and Saraki of any wrongdoing.
Olaniyonu explained: “A supplier was engaged by the Senate to supply a vehicle. While transferring the vehicle between Lagos and Abuja, it was impounded by the Customs.
“We believe that is an issue between the supplier and the Customs, because the Senate has not taken delivery. So, why is somebody trying to drag in the name of Saraki into the issue?”
But, an NCS source close to the Comptroller General’s office, who would not want to be identified, told Motoring World’s correspondent Tuesday evening that all documents with the NCS indicates Senate’s direct involvement in the importation of the under-invoiced SUV.
“If the case is just between the supplier and the Customs, why did the senate write to us requesting a release of the car?” queries our source, adding,”This is about criminal allegation, as you can see, not a political matter. Why will APC leaders make peace move between Custom and Senate?”
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