Courts orders Coscharis Motors to release information on Stella Oduah’s bullet proof cars



In the case of the two

controversial bullet-proof cars purchased by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority for the former minister of aviation, Stella Oduah in 2013, a Federal High Court in Lagos has ordered Coscharis Motors Limited to release information as regards the issue.

Justice Mohammed Yunusa made the declaration in a judgment delivered on Tuesday in a suit filed by a non-governmental organisation, Enough-is-Enough.

The organisation had through its counsel, Ayodeji Acquah, approached Yunusa seeking an order compelling Coscharis Motors to make available documents on the two cars numbered WBAHP41050DW68032 and WBAHP41010DW68044 purchased for Oduah for about N256million.

The organisation claimed to have commenced the action following the refusal of the company to honour its request via a letter dated October 28, 2013.

It had urged the court to compel the Attorney General of the Federation to commence criminal proceedings against Coscharis for alleged non-accessible to information in contravention of Section 7(5) of the Freedom of Information Act, 2011.

But Coscharis, in opposition to the plaintiff’s petition, argued that as an indigenous private limited liability company with no government investment

, the FOI Act could not be binding on it.

The counsel for the company, Ndubuisi Chito, had maintained that Coscharis, which was not being funded by tax payer’s money and did not enjoy any type of government subvention could not be categorised as a public service outfit, which might be subject to sections 1(1) and 4(a) that the applicant relied upon.

Chito thereby urged Yunusa to dismiss the suit for want of jurisdiction.

Yunusa, in his judgment, assumed jurisdiction and holding that the provisions of the FOI Act was binding on Coscharis subsequently ordering the company to furnish Enough-is-Enough with information and documents pertaining to the cars but did not compel the Attorney General of the Federal to commence criminal proceedings against the automobile company as petitioned by the plaintiff.