Godwin Tsa, Abuja
The Abuja division of the Federal High Court has ordered the Speaker and the Clerk of the House of Representatives to release all relevant contract documents relating to the purchase of 400 Toyota Camry 2020 Model cars for its members to a human rights group, Kingdom Human Rights International.
Also to comply with the order made by Justice Inyang Ekwo is the National Assembly Service Commission (NASC).
The order was sequel to a public interest suit filed by the group in line with section 21 of the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act 2011.
The suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/420/2020 seeks to compel the Speaker to make available to the group the contract papers for the supply of the 400 2020 model Toyota vehicles for the purpose of ensuring accountability, due process and in support of the fight against corruption by the Buhari administration.
After listening to the motion exparte moved by counsel to the group, Okere Nnamdi, Justice Ekwo specifically ordered that the defendants should furnish the group with the following documents relating to the purchase of the exotic vehicles:
“Certified true copy of the contract for the supply of 400 Toyota Camry 2020 model cars for the house of representatives. Certified true copy of the resolution was reached at an executive (closed-door) session held on February 5, 2020.
“Evidence of payment and bank transaction for the supply of the 400 2020 Toyota Camry cars between the House of Representatives and the company supplying the cars indicating the actual cost for each of the 400 cars.”
The court was further urged to determine if the leadership of the House of Representative is set to corruptly embezzle public funds and has proposed between 40 to 45 million for each of the proposed 400 Toyota Camry vehicles, whereas the actual costs from Toyota website are between N10,000.000 and N15,000,000, that is between ($25,000 and $35,000 thousand dollars excluding the cost of shipping, import duty which is 70 per cent of the net cost and other clearing charges and taxes at the port); and the reason some members of the House of Representatives who have rejected the cars as an unnecessarily expensive venture that will corruptly enrich the leadership of the lower Chamber are offered between N18 to N20 million cash in exchange for the cars, to lure them falsely consent and append their signature of taking delivery of cars purportedly purchased with N40 and N45 million naira depending on range of the vehicles.
The court has fixed September 3 for the hearing of the substantive suit.