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Firm sues INNOSON for delivering substandard vehicles

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A firm named Petronella (Nig) Limited has sued INNOSON Vehicle Manufacturing Company owned by Chief Innocent Chukwuma to the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) over the failure to deliver twelve vehicles paid for. A lawyer identified as Bar Olaniwun Ajayi filed the suit.

The petitioner claimed that out of the twelve vehicles ordered and estimated at N415 million, only eight were delivered without meeting the specifications.

The petition dated 10th January 2023, and addressed to the Executive Vice-Chairman, Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, Abuja was made available to journalists in Awka on Sunday.

“Despite having received about N415 million from Petronella by 29 October 2021 for twenty units of the IVM Granite, IVM did not deliver the vehicles within the two-week timeframe that it had promised. When IVM finally delivered vehicles to Petronella, it delivered only nine vehicles, one of which it immediately retrieved because of a defect in the engine, so Petronella was ultimately left with eight vehicles of the twenty that IVM had agreed to supply. IVM never delivered the remaining twelve vehicles.

“Crucially, the vehicles that IVM delivered did not meet the specifications that IVM had represented that they would meet. Specifically, the vehicles did not possess a five-star NCAP rating. When Petronella requested an NCAP crash test report, IVM did not provide one; instead, IVM forwarded by email a document that had the appearance of a crash test report, but which gave no indication that it had been issued by a crash testing authority.

“Petronella made repeated requests to IVM for details of the authority that issued the crash report via emails dated 20 and 22 November 2021, as well as a letter dated 21 November 2021. IVM did not respond to these requests”, the petition partly read.

Ajayi maintained that IVM’s false representations and failure to refund the money paid to it had caused Petronella to incur huge losses, including about N805,443 per day in expected income from the rescinded SPDC lease, from 04 November 2021 to date, adding that his client obtained a substantial part of the purchase price through a bank loan, which was hoped to be repaid from the proceeds of the SPDC lease.

Ajayi who sued INNOSON on behalf of Petronella (Nig) Limited, asked the commission to investigate the allegations leveled against the motor manufacturing company and appropriate relief provided to his client (Petronella).
The petitioner also accused INNOSON Manufacturing Company of violating the FCCPC Act and sundry infractions by false representation, insisting that his client should be refunded N415m paid to the motor manufacturing company and due compensation paid.

The petition further read, “We are solicitors to Petronella (Nig) Limited (“Petronella” or “our client”), a limited liability company duly registered under the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, on whose instructions we write.

“Petronella purchased goods from Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing Company Limited (“IVM”), and in the course of that relationship, IVM behaved in ways that breached several provisions of the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission Act, resulting in considerable damages to our client. We urge the Commission to investigate IVM’s unlawful behavior and cause IVM to pay due compensation to our client.

“Petronella carries on business as an oil servicing company. Its business involves leasing operational vehicles to, and maintaining the fleet of, oil companies in Nigeria. In September 2021 Petronella entered into an agreement with Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Ltd. (“SPDC”), under which Petronella would provide SPDC with pick-up trucks for use in SPDC’s operations.

“Given the environment in which SPDC operates, vehicles intended for the company’s use must meet certain engineering and safety specifications. In particular, SPDC required that vehicles leased from Petronella must possess a five-star New Car Assessment Programme (NCAP) rating.

“Eager to support local enterprise, Petronella opted to buy made-in-Nigeria vehicles rather than vehicles of foreign manufacture. Petronella, therefore, approached IVM in September 2021 and inquired about IVM’s ability to produce and supply Petronella with vehicles that meet SPDC’s specifications. In an email to IVM on 04 September 2021, Petronella’s Managing Director listed the specifications that SPDC required and sought assurances that IVM vehicles met those specifications.

“One of the requirements listed in Petronella’s email was that “all vehicles must have New Car Assessment Programme (NCAP) 5-Star rating”. A copy of the email of 04 September 2021 from Petronella to IVM is attached herewith as Annexure A.

“IVM responded to Petronella’s inquiry by an email dated 07 September 2021, assuring Petronella that “IVM Vehicles have all the features as requested by your client, as contained in your email of September 04, 2021.

Continuing, the petitioner said, “On the strength of IVM’s representation, Petronella requested, and IVM issued an invoice for twenty units of IVM’s five-seater, double-cabin, 3.0L diesel pick-up known as the IVM Granite. Each unit of the IVM Granite was priced at N21.5m, bringing the price for all twenty vehicles to a total sum of N430m . Petronella’s request for an invoice was conveyed by email dated 23 September 2021.

“Having received the invoice, Petronella placed an order for twenty units of the IVM Granite on 11 October 2021, and also paid a deposit of N65 million. Petronella then paid the rest of the purchase price in two tranches, comprising N80 million on 28 October 2021 and N270 million on 29th October 2021, leaving a balance of only N15 million. IVM issued a receipt for the initial deposit of N65m which and assured Petronella that the vehicles would be delivered within two weeks from 11 October 2021.

“IVM only supplied eight out of twenty vehicles, the vehicles supplied did not have the features that IVM claimed they would have, and IVM has refused to refund the money paid by Petronella.

When contacted on the telephone for a reaction, the Chairman of INNOSON Manufacturing Company, Chief Innocent Chukwuma said, “The matter is in court and the complainant is still with my vehicles. If the company brings my vehicles, I will pay them their money.”

South East governors not interested in securing their zones – HURIWA

Leading Civil Rights Advocacy Group- HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has expressed consternation that the governors of the South Eastern States have failed to take concrete, workable, and law-based actions to stem the tide of heightened levels of killings just as the Rights group has advocated the disbandment of the notorious Ebubeagu security network in Ebonyi and Imo State and their replacement with armed vigilante set up by the people for the people and not armed gang of the governors.

HURIWA has also condemned the recent upsurge in the dastardly execution by unidentified armed nonstate actors of members of the Armed security forces doing their lawful duties in the South East of Nigeria just as the Rights group accused the armed security forces of lacking in actionable intelligence because of certain actions of some rogue operatives of the security agencies who have created a bad image of the armed forces as enemies of the people and therefore are cut off from receiving actionable human intelligence to aide the fight against the destruction of lives and property of the citizens and strategic national security assets.

“How come that both the police and the Army in Abuja and the police commands in the South East of Nigeria have constantly made outlandish claims of arresting armed nonstate actors responsible for the heightened levels of killings in the South East but the more these media propaganda are circulated the more worst and much more sophisticated attacks occur and the more successful the armed attackers are becoming? This can only mean one thing- the armed security forces are actually not catching the right persons executing the attacks because if the real culprits are being arrested, then by now the armed forces would have reduced the levels of attacks and the culprits would have been successfully prosecuted for their crimes against humanity. Why is President Muhammadu Buhari not concerned about the widespread suspicion that the chief sponsor of some of the deadliest attacks stays somewhere in the Eastern European nation of Finland?

“Can’t President Muhammadu Buhari take diplomatic action to protect Igbos from being systematically killed by agents living in the South East allegedly armed by someone staying in Europe? If President Muhammadu Buhari hasn’t done so, what have the governors of South East States done in the light of the allegations of involvement of a Nigerian withdrawal citizenship in Finland in the killings going on in South East of Nigeria?

HURIWA is saddened that for virtually two years now, it has constantly proffered practicable panacea to the increasing state of insecurity and instability in the South-East of Nigeria but it is regrettable that the Governors are not in any way committed towards the eradication of the sources and sponsors of the insecurity.

HURIWA cited the example of an All Progressives Grand Alliance supporter in Ebonyi State, Amobi Ujar, who was on Saturday allegedly beaten to a pulp by members of the state’s security outfit, Ebubeagu.

The Rights group quoting sources said the victim, Ujar, allegedly got a call from a supposed Ebubeagu informant and was lured to the Why Worry area of Amaehara Village, in the Afikpo North Local Government Area of the state where he was allegedly beaten to a coma by operatives of the outfit.

HURIWA also recalled with consternation the alleged involvement of Ebubeagu Vigilantes in the murder of over a dozen youths in Orlu last year who were reportedly returning from a traditional wedding just as the State Government confirmed that the Department of State Services and Ebubeagu were involved in an operation in which those youths were killed.

HURIWA said: “It is clear that the South East governors got it wrong when some of them decided to float armed vigilantes but rather than allow those statutory vigilantes to work for the collective security interests of the people of their States, especially in Ebonyi and Imo States, these governors have hijacked the Ebubeagu Security network and are deploying them as killer squads to target political opponents for elimination”.

“In Ebonyi State alone, the Ebubeagu has been fingered in over two dozen cases of suspected assassinations but yet the state government has not prosecuted any of these killers being paid by the government from taxpayers’ funds. The South East governors should ask their counterparts in the South West how come they successfully floated the Amotekun security network and there is hardly any case of harassment or attacks targeting the good people of those states in the South West. The SouthEast governors should set up people’s oriented armed vigilantes to work to protect the people of their States and not become public executioners of perceived political opponents of the governors. The governors need to stop acting like economic saboteurs who hate their region by immediately introducing regional-wide measures to preempt these attackers and go after the actual people carrying out the bloody killings and their sponsors wherever they may be in the World.”

HEDA Tasks INEC On Credible Polls After Osun Tribunal, Asks Police, EFCC To Prosecute Corrupt Electoral Officials

A leading Civil Society organization, the Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA Resource Centre) has charged the Independent National Electoral Election (INEC) to be circumspect and thorough with regard to all aspects of its responsibilities in view of their ultra-sensitivity.

This follows the judgment of the Osun election tribunal that sacked the sitting Governor, Ademola Adeleke.

HEDA specifically wants INEC to pay more attention to assorted preparation, recruitment of personnel, assigning of responsibilities, monitoring and evaluation of performances of personnel, and declaration of results of the forthcoming elections.

The Osun Gubernatorial Election Tribunal, on Friday in Osogbo, annulled the result declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), which gave victory in the election to Mr. Ademola Adeleke of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

The tribunal held that the governorship election was characterized by over-voting. It said after deducting the excessive votes, the figure Mr Ademola Adeleke polled came down to 290,666: lower than the 314,921 polled by the immediate past Governor, Mr. Adegboyega Oyetola.

Meanwhile, in a statement issued by its Chairman, Olarenwaju Suraju, the civil group expressed deep concern with the electoral malpractice by the two major political parties at the polls.

He, therefore, called on Nigeria Police Force and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to investigate the polling officers and INEC officials responsible for the inflated votes at the affected polling units for prosecution.

He said: “Osun gubernatorial election, assumed by many to be above board, considering the heavy investment of resources by the country in the BVAS, was marred by irregularities and this was hidden from the prying eyes of observers in their preliminary observation reports during the polls in Osogbo. We strongly condemned the electoral malpractice and all those associated with the act of sabotage against the country and its people.

Suraju further challenged INEC to ensure internal mechanisms to discontinue electoral malpractices, adding that election irregularities are unacceptable and must be condemned for qualitative representation and good governance in the interest of all.

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