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General News Fri, 16 Nov 2001

Nigerian arrives to claim controversial car

Mr Ufuoma Omorode, a Nigerian business executive, who has claimed a Mercedes Benz saloon car that is at the centre of a legal tussle between a court and the police, said on Thursday that he has all the documents to prove his ownership.

He said the Mercedes Benz C240 car with chassis number WDB 203 061 IF 017220 and engine number 112912-30-793855 which be bought in May last year was stolen from him at gunpoint in Lagos in December last year.

An Accra court has ordered Interpol Ghana to release the car to Jobesh Rental Services in Accra, whose owner is also claiming the car, but the police have refused.

Speaking at a press briefing on Thursday, Mr Omorode said he ordered the car with registration number AL 700 UGH in May 2000 through Daimler-Chrysler agent in Lagos.

The cost of the car was 37,500 US dollars while it was cleared at a cost of 5,500 US dollars bringing the total cost to 43,000 US dollars. Mr Omorode said the vehicle was cleared through Cotonou, Benin, on 19th September 2000 after which a service booklet was issued to him.

Relating how he was robbed of the car, he said he was driving to a friend's house at about 2130 hours on December 12 last year, when four armed men who were in a black Mercedes Benz car stopped him.

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He was ordered to hand over the keys, forced to ride with them and warned that if the vehicle should stop, they would kill him. "At this time two of them were inside my car with me while the two others were riding in the black Mercedes Benz car."

After a 30-minute drive he was dropped at Fami-Kayode, a Government Reserve Area (GRA) at Ikeja, after being stripped of his clothes and left with his boxer's shorts.

He said he reported the case to the Nigeria police and Interpol-Lagos. Mr Omorode said later Mercedes Benz Automobile, Lagos, informed him that the car had been traced to Jobesh Rental Services in Accra.

He said during the course of investigations the owner of Jobesh Services who allegedly bought the vehicle at 34,000 US dollars could not produce documents on it and also could not tell where and from whom he bought it.

He said investigations by the police revealed that the documents on the car as well as the names and address presented by Jobesh were fake.

Mr Omorobe said the owner of Jobesh also produced a receipt of purchase to the police in Ghana, which he wrote himself. "I want to state categorically that the car belongs to me and I have all the documents to support my claim."

Source: .
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