The former Minister of Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, has cleared the air on the alleged stolen Jaguar car said to have been smuggled into the United States (US). He disclosed that the claims were false, patently misleading and frivolous.
Kachikwu stated this via a statement shared on social media and signed by one of his aides, Prince Harrison.
According to him, the car was impounded by the US Customs, not on suspicion of being a stolen car after it was shipped from Nigeria to the US as a gift to a relative, but for emission control Infringement as cars with European and African emission control specifications cannot be used in the US.
What Kachikwu is saying about the car
Kachikwu’s statement read;
“The attention of Dr Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu has been drawn to a false, patently misleading, and frivolous publication by an online news medium. The publication which alleged that the former Minister smuggled a stolen jaguar car to the US is not only absurd but manifestly untrue. For the avoidance of doubt, it is expedient to set the record straight.
“Sometime in 2009, Dr Kachikwu bought a Jaguar car from Dazz Motors Nigeria Ltd, Victoria Island, Lagos. The Managing Director then was Emmanuel Jack. The car was fully paid for.
“After using the car for some years, it was gifted to a relation in the United States of America (USA) and following due local customs processes, the car was shipped to the US. However, on arrival, the car was impounded by the US Customs on suspicion of being a stolen car and for emission control Infringement as cars with European and African emission control specifications cannot be used in the US.
“Consequently, the US Customs was furnished with details of the car and purchase receipts, and the car dealer in Nigeria was contacted. The car dealer confirmed the facts and absolved Dr Kachikwu. After investigation and relevant administrative processes, (there was no court case), the US customs discontinued the investigation as there was no proof that the vehicle was stolen but the emission breach would not allow the car to be used in the US.
“The car was therefore released to Dr Kachikwu. The dealer was also not prosecuted for want of sufficient evidence.
“The car was subsequently returned to the dealer in Nigeria and refunds were made to Dr Kachikwu. There is therefore nothing done wrong by Dr Kachikwu. If anything like the US customs determined, he was an innocent victim. These are the facts.”
What you should know
Some online media platforms had reported that Kachikwu had smuggled the car stolen from Jaguar’s UK assembly into the U.S., as they attributed their claims to some court documents.
According to the platforms, a U.S. court ordered the confiscation of the stolen vehicle found in possession of Mr Kachikwu adding that the order for forfeiture came after the ex-minister tried to smuggle the stolen vehicle into the U.S.
The vehicle, a 2007 Jaguar XKR, was said to have been stolen from a Jaguar assembly facility in Birmingham, England. In the complaint sheet, the car manufacturer explained that the vehicle was made for use in the Czech Republic as it did not meet the safety standards set out by the U.S.