Fake documents: Importer, dealer absolve Saraki of role in Senate N300 million vehicle scandal

Senate President Bukola Saraki appeared before the Committee on Ethics on the alleged fake customs document on the SUV purchased

A car dealer, Lanre Shittu, has absolved Senate President Bukola Saraki of any culpability in respect of the nearly N300 million bullet proof Range Rover imported with fake documents and seized by the Nigerian Customs Service.

Mr. Shittu appeared before the Senate Committee on Ethics and Privileges, tasked to investigate the car seizure scandal, on Monday, alongside the importer of the vehicle, Tokunbo Akindele, and Mr. Saraki.

Like Mr. Shittu, Mr. Akindele also testified, under oath, that the luxury vehicle was not imported for Mr. Saraki, but that it was originally procured in 2015 for use by oil firm, Oando.

Mr. Akindele, also a staff of Oando, said the company later reviewed its decision “because we have alternative.”

Mr. Shittu, Chief Executive of Lanre Shittu Motors, said he was then approached by Wale Tinubu, the Oando boss, in October 2016 for the consigning the car to his (Mr. Shittu’s) company.

He said, in respect of the car, his company had no deal with Mr. Saraki but the Senate, adding that he bided, following advert, and supplied the vehicle.

Both the dealer and the importer said it was in 2017 that they discovered the customs documents for the car were fake, blaming the NCS operatives instead.

The Chairman of the Senate Committee on House Service, Mr. Gobir, told the investigative committee that the Senate bought “vehicles from dealers, and dealers from importers”.

He said the Senate President had nothing to do with the car or the fake documents.

Speaking at the hearing, Mr. Saraki said he was not a car dealer or importer, nor did he ask anybody to help him import the seized vehicle.

“I did not import any vehicle. I did not ask anybody to import any vehicle on my behalf,” said Mr. Saraki.

“It is important that I clear my name, the documents are there and none of the documents are in my name.”

He said the end user certificate showed whom the vehicle was imported for.

The members of the probe committee had put questions to the respondents – Messrs. Saraki, Shittu, Gobir and Akindele – on whether the Senate President had any link with the seized vehicle and the documents.

The committee chaired by Samuel Anyanwu resolved to adjourn hearing to Tuesday and that the NCS should be present to state its side in the matter.

Although Mr. Saraki may not have personally imported the vehicle, a National Assembly, Lagos liaison office document suggests it was procured as an official car of the senate president.

Mr. Saraki did not say on Monday who was meant to use the bullet proof car.


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  • Gary

    This is likely to cause wailing and gnashing of teeth at EFCC headquarters and their media hounds after Saraki’s head.
    The man had a lot of baggage from his days as Kwara State Governor but that did not bother those who begged him to come join the APC to wrest power from the corrupt PDP.

    They only discovered he was corrupt and unfit for office when he pulled a fast one to emerge Senate President against the wishes of the party godfathers and their media dogs. They have now spent half of their term in office trying to dislodge Saraki rather than focus on governing for the benefit of the Nigerian people who entrusted the APC with their votes.
    Ibrahim Magu has turned bringing Saraki down into a personal crusade against the man he blames for blocking his bid for confirmation. So he uses any oppprtuniy that comes his way to link Saraki to corruption, no matter how remote or weak the evidence is.
    As I stated elsewhere, if Saraki attends a naming ceremony and the baby falls ill and subsequently dies, Saraki becomes the focus of a probe because he had been once treated at the same hospital. Then we’ll be told that the same doctor who treated the baby had also treated Saraki and that they attend the same mosque and have accounts at the same bank. So Saraki likely paid the doctor to kill the baby. Then God help Saraki if it turns out that he had a driver who once worked at the hospital where the baby died: that’s it! Saraki definitely killed the baby and you’ll read it as such in Sahara Reporters and the propaganda hounds of the BMC will go to town.

    It is getting beyond ridiculous the time and efforts currently expended on bringing down one man when the country has more pressing issues to focus on.
    Governors owing workers salaries have siphoned off monies from the Paris Club refund bizarrely paid into the NGF corporate entity they set up to share public funds. Rather than go after them, it is Saraki that the EFCC has chosen to focus on again by its media leaks. Just confounding.

    • psp

      Well written my brother.

    • Dualpolemedia

      Purely jargons.

    • Kez Ebed

      Why should the efcc go after those others and leave Saraki? Say the efcc should include them on the ironing board.

    • solomon olushola

      Hello Gary, there is an adage here in America “if it looks like a Duck or sound like duck means it is a duck. the question we all should have asked is who in the National Assembly authorized 300 million Naira for a civil servant, and for the use of who. Then, that would have solved this problem.

      • Gary

        The question at issue is : Who imported the SUV into the country with forged Customs documents? That is what is being addressed by the current probe.

        The wisdom of the Senate buying a stupidly expensive SUV amid a recession is entirely different matter about the continued profligacy of those running the country. Saraki does not need t
        an armored Range Rover at public expense to add to his fleet of cars. But they have been wasting public money on cars since the days of Chuba Okadigbo as Senate President. The Executive branch is not any better going by the number of cars requested every year by MDAs in the federal budget.
        Then who dares to ask about the President health bill for his five week stay in London; plus parking fees for the Presidential jet?

        • Samira

          On the contrary, I would imagine that with extensive oversight duties around the country as Senate President, and with the airport at Abuja shut indefinitely, (6+18 weeks so far) that the number 3 man in Nigeria would need an armoured SUV.

    • Sanssouci

      You are of a sound mind. Much respect.

  • msoxfam

    @Gary:disqus

    There is enough evidence at today’s sitting to impeach Senator Bukola Saraki for incompetence.
    He is the Chairman of the National Assembly and came to the public domain to confess ignorance
    of how over 300 million Naira was removed from National Assembly account to pay for bullet proof
    car and felt he was making sense, as coached by his equally daft drama director.

    Bukola Saraki has only just
    just confessed to negligence too and should be impeached on that ground. Bukola Saraki, of course,
    fluffed his gay activist don’t-ask-don’t-tell policy after disclaiming knowledge of the 300 million Naira
    bullet proof he then blundered by not also disclaiming that the car was meant for his own use as Senate
    president. That’s the problem with lies-telling. It is never fool-proof but riddled very often with huge holes.

    • John A

      Impeach him on what ground?
      You should rather face wale tinibu and those customs officials.
      If you bought a car from a dealer and the papers where later discovered to be fake, who should go to prison?
      I guess you know the answer.
      Saraki is extremely corrupt, but not in this case.

  • FreeNigeria

    This is absolutely insane, we are actually paying these clowns (Senators) good money for this charade.

  • Sword of Damocles

    Well that’s that. Just like in the Melaye inquest, the Inane senate ask kindergarten questions without any actual investigation, and “all’s well that ends well”. One little question, if as “sticky fingas” Saraki is reported to have stated ““I did not import any vehicle. I did not ask anybody to import any vehicle on my behalf,” People like me will like to know WHY is the “hauler of the truck” in which the vehicle was seized stating that when he got the call t pick up this job (the bullet proof Range), he went to Saraki”s crib in Ikoyi to pick the vehicle up. He described the crib as crawling with security agents(dss). He further stated that this was not the first job he had done for Saraki(indirectly). he said last year he did the same thing for a Bulletproof Escalade that “Ole” had imported. He said he went to the same Saraki crib to pick that one up also. Now my question why hasn’t the Senat called this Hauler/driver of the truck , and also the same middleman who hired the truck delivering company to testify. The interview with this “whistleblower” is on another FINE internet Journal (hint, hint)
    Members of the Nigerian Senate, when I say that you people are cursed by your ancestors, you should not be offended, for it is a compliment for people of your ilk. The God that I worship is a just God & He will “reward” all of you for your “goodworks”. I-M-P-U-N-I-T-Y like all thing will always have an END, IJN Amen.

    • sab

      Being bias here wont get us anywhere as far as this case is concerned. People are trying to solve a puzzle yet you have taken a stand, concluded your judgement and certified that Saraki is ‘ole’. Some witnesses can come up with all manner of allegations only to begin to contradict himself under cross examination. It has happened before and continues to happen especially at the lingering Saraki CCT trials. It is unreasonable to allude to what you cannot substantiate under the law. After the senate committee inquest, there is still room for the court of law to take over.

      • Sword of Damocles

        it is not my fault that Saraki’s reputation precedes him. Are you not curios as to why the Senate has not invited this gentleman to testify. Or do you suppose his testimony is unconnected to the issue at hand? Yes he can be cross examined, but there is context that this gentleman could add that someone who has never being to Saraki’s house in Ikoyi could never add. Ie, the telephone #(incorrect one) on the letter of introduction can be crossed checked to see if any security officers who EVER worked at Saraki’s house is similar(off by 1 or 2 digits). this is called DILLIGENT investigating. let them(the senate) invite the hauler, and the man who hired the hauler & submit both of them to forensic polygraph examination to ascertain who is the liar. what do you think

        • Samira

          Your “DILLIGENT” is certainly off by one digit. An expectedly undiligent comment from an apostle of the mere commissioner non-professor VP. Half baked.

          • Sword of Damocles

            Yes “brown-tongue” I misspelled diligent, so sue me. I noticed you have nothing to say about using polygraph to find out if your boss is truly deserving of his birth name OLE. I find it truly laughable that you think I am aligned with the VP. He already has more honor and character in the toenail than your boss will you ever have if he lived to be methuselah’s age. One request, since you have made it apparent that you brush your teeth every morning with that kleptomaniac boots, pleAse if you are going respond to my post, address the points that I have made ‘Mr grammar gestapo’

    • Du Covenant

      Well said, I had not read your post before posting mine.I just weep for Nigeria.

      • thusspokez

        Now. The reason for the Vote Up arrow is so that other posters could show their appreciations for good comments. Sadly, and with the greatest respect, mumu Nigerians like you [aka Johnny come lately to the internet] still have no clue about netiquette. I despair!.:-)

  • Du Covenant

    The fact of the matter is, the spokes person to the senate or Saraki did acknowledge this vehicle was being delivered to the Senate but, they had not yet taken delivery so it is not their problem. Beside, the hauler did say on camera where he picked the vehicle from, to who it was being delivered and that this was not the first time he had delivered vehicles to Saraki. I believe the hauler far more than these criminals trying desperately to mislead us. Only an independent investigation can get to the heart of this story. You can’t expect a bunch of crooks to investigate themselves and come out with the truth. These people are greedy to their bones and will stand at nothing to continue to take all of us for granted!.

  • Kez Ebed

    CASE OF CIRCUS DANCE BY MASTER BLINDFOLDERS BEFORE THEIR WILFULLY BLINDFOLDED SPECTATORS.

    • Iconoclast2017

      @kezebed:disqus

      • How come the Senate needed exactly that brand
      of bullet proof car – which Oando imported and virtually renounced by leaving
      it with a dealer without any instructions and without collecting its own
      purchase price from the dealer, according to today’s testimony?

      • Did the Senate Procurement Committee
      need and seek Bukola Saraki’s final approval on an a bullet proof car expenditure
      of 300 million Naira, and if yes, could Bukola Saraki be forthright that he
      didn’t know anything at all about this transaction as the Chairman of the
      National Assembly?

      • If on the other hand the Senate
      Procurement Committee did not seek Bukola Saraki’s approval who approved that
      300 million Naira be withdrawn from the vaults of the National Assembly to buy
      a bullet proof car, and, for whose use?

      • Kez Ebed

        Man, you’re asking intelligent questions. Seems your own blindfold has dropped.

      • Samira

        Poor mere commissioner non professor osinbajo still thinks he is lecturing half baked semi-illiterates as Unilag? Sadly for him after ordering the bucket of slop to be thrown at Saraki, he realises that the car in question was imported for his paymaster-god Jagaban Tinubu’s stooge.

  • thusspokez

    A car dealer, Lanre Shittu, has absolved Senate President Bukola Saraki of any culpability in respect of the nearly N300 million bullet proof Range Rover imported with fake documents and seized by the Nigerian Customs Service.

    Nonsense ! This PT reporter Hassan Adebayo should report the news and not inject unnecessary personal opinions into it. Let the readers decide for themselves. Besides, witnesses give their accounts in a case, only the judges or the Senate committee, in this case, can absolved the crooked Saraki.

    • ‘Sho’

      @thusspokez:disqus

      Premium Times is a Mujahedin media house where the Hijab is compulsory face veil

      for all the journalists in the newsroom; at the gate, in the toilet, and, the staff canteen;

      to be worn to bed always; and never to be removed for a moment, even in a bathroom.

  • thusspokez

    …nearly N300 million bullet proof Range Rover

    Does anyone seriously believe that any company in the world would spend N300 million for a car for its employee or even its boss?

    A Nigerian neighbour of my father back in the 90s used to buy very expensive Western cars to export and flog to wealthy Nigerians to make fast buck. He imported them in his Nigerian registered company name. This scam has been going on for decades.

    • ALEX

      Yes, you need to be in a blue chip company it will change your mindset

      • thusspokez

        Dear Ultracrepidarian,

        If you really understand the nature of Blue-chip companies, you will know that they are least likely than most other types of companies to spend their investors’ money to purchase N300 million car. The investors will get on the company CEO like a rash — some even disinvesting.

        Your sincerely,

  • Man_Enough

    If the car is for the Senate, who is most likely to use it? Others may, but I don’t believe that such a contract could be awarded without the Senate president’s knowledge.
    Well let the concerned authorities prosecute and hand out the maximum penalty for the forgery. If the forger is ready to bear the cross alone, so be it.

    • Gary

      That is not the issue under investigation. The question is who imported the SUV into the country with forged documents to evade Customs duties?
      The vehicle importer and dealers have been identified but folks gunning for Saraki do not like the answer. So they are now setting their own questions.

      • Man_Enough

        this is why I’m advising that whoever “imported the SUV into the country with forged documents to evade Customs duties” should be prosecuted for forgery, which carries a heavy penalty. if the person is ready to “bear the cross alone” so be it.

  • Gerald Okoduwa

    Kangaroo committee. How can you be a judge in your own case? Is the senate now a security agency or law court? A crime against the State has been committed and it is not in the place of the offender to investigate and pass judgment upon himself. This anomaly can only happen in Nigeria. If the car was meant for the senate, how can the same senate be the one to investigate non-payment of relevant duty on it, and what do you expect to come out of such investigation? They want to be the Executive, the Judiciary and the Legislature at the same time. This is a mockery of democracy and decency.

  • Samira

    Saraki should sue both Premium Times and Sahara Reporters. Then he should also sue Saint Osinbajo who is the architect of all this false sleaze.

  • Omooba Adekunle Orafidiya

    I am beginning to question the credibility of Premium Times and Sahara Reporters.

    • Bidemi Lukman

      Let us put this to reasoning. Both the dealer and the importer confirmed they noticed the documents were fake in 2017 but blamed it on NCS. Who adulterated the documents?

      The house woefully failed to ask the dealer and the importer how they got the fake papers and who owns the car (if not Saraki) They are simply covering the owner

      In addition, the committee is silent on how the driver got or forged a document from The National Assembly to accord the driver a free passage.

      The investigation is inconclusive and this suggested that the house has a lot hiding.

      • Omooba Adekunle Orafidiya

        But they shouldn’t have gone to town as if Saraki’s guilt has been fully established. Same with the Dino Melaye matter. Now that ABU’s VC has confirmed that DM graduated from that institution, how do they feel? Journalism must be moderated by decorum and responsibility.

        • Best

          The car was drove out from Saraki’s park at Ikoyi residence according to the hauler

          • Omooba Adekunle Orafidiya

            “The car was drove….”!!!

  • Bidemi Lukman

    Both the dealer and the importer confirmed they noticed the documents were fake in 2017 but blamed it on NCS. Who adulterated the documents?

    The house woefully failed to ask the dealer and the importer how they got the fake papers and who owns the car (if not Saraki) They are simply covering the owner

    In addition, the committee is silent on how the driver got or forged a document from The National Assembly to accord the driver a free passage.

    The investigation is inconclusive and this suggested that the house has a lot hiding.

  • Solomon Brown

    Welcome to naija where the answer is known even before the equation is formed. For the record, APC has spent a sizable amount of its first term trying to dig itself out of one hole or the other instead of facing head on the task of governing. We still don’t have uninterrupted power supply, still waiting on the naira to be at par with the dollar, all these and more failed promises, while the media keeps its focus on who imported what, or what school some guy claims he attended or didn’t graduate from. With no viable opposition to address the excesses of this government, I’m afraid to say after this term, we might be looking at another four years of this “gongoro” without brakes.

  • musa aliero

    First of all that car doesn’t cost up to 300m! That price take itself have been inflated to paint someone in bad light! Secondly the car was imported for wale tinubu and the he decided he doesn’t want it again. Now the senate may have decided to buy it for its president! I mean what’s the big deal considering all our governors and even ministers move in bullet proof cars! Each of them have more than one of such cars. My problem with Nigeria is that our leaders are mostly corrupt, but they expose the ones amongst themselves that they hate or for political point!

  • wode

    This is not surprising. I said it that nothing would come out of it. What question would the committee which is part of the same rotten system ask their leader? They just provided him with a platform to resell himself. Let’s see how the NCS reps would be questioned compared to what happened to Saraki? I hope the issue of wearing uniform won’t resurface again.