A witness, Mr Justin Ngele representing Coscharis Motors at the ongoing hearing of the Judicial Panel of Inquiry set up by the Ekiti State government to probe the administration of former Governor Kayode Fayemi yesterday said that the firm supplied 156 vehicles valued at N1,284,159,000.00 based on oral agreement.
Ngele, who was led in the witness by the counsel to Coscharis Motor, Peter Jiya said that the company transacted the deal based on trust it has for the Ekiti State government.
He, however, said that there was letter of award by the state government on the purchase of additional 59 units of vehicles later supplied by the company.
Ngele said that out of the 235 vehicles supplied between 2013 to 2014, total of N1.449 billion have been paid, leaving the balance of N459 million debt being owed the firm.
But a witness from the Ministry of Local Government, Mr Samuel Akinjide in his statement on oath alleged that the ministry received an invoice of N1,284,159,000.00 from the state government for the purchase of 156 Ford Range of vehicles for traditional rulers in Ekiti State, adding that the ministry was mandated to finance the purchase.
He also alleged that even before the state government gave the directive, the then Commissioner for Finance, Mr Vincent Kolawole had taken delivery of the 156 vehicles.
Akinjide further averred that “Coscharis Motors on 2nd of May, 2014 requested for payment of in respect of 235 vehicles instead of the 156 units the ministry was directed to purchase.
“By this letter, there is no evidence that Coscharis Motors paid taxes on the vehicles. The vehicles were distributed without the input of the ministry”.
He said that the local governments were to settle the debt on equal basis even though they didn’t solicit for it.
The Panel adjourned sitting till September 8 to enable Coscharis Motors come with original documents of evidences tendered, having rejected the photocopies supplied by the counsel to the firm.