The Edo State chapter of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) says it is very interested in the vehicles that were allegedly gifted to a former speaker of the Edo State House of Assembly, Hon Elizabeth Ativie, by former Governor Adams Oshiomhole, because it wants to protect the interest of Edo people and deepen democratic practice in the state.
Controversy has surrounded the issue of a number of official cars that were reportedly in the care of Hon Ative, which she claims to have sold because they were gifted to her by former governor Oshiomhole.
Hon Ativie had refused to return the official vehicles to the Assembly over claims that the vehicles, two Hilux van, one Lexus jeep and one Toyota Prado jeep, were given to her by Oshiomhole because she agreed to step down as Speaker.
Chris Osa Nehikhare, state publicity secretary of the PDP a said in a statement on Saturday, that “As a developing democracy, some of our notorious leaders have stretched the law and acceptable behavior for democratically elected persons in a democratic society.
“In Edo state, this notoriety was taken to a dangerously unacceptable level by the immediate past governor Adams Aliu Eric Oshiomhole who willfully deeped his paws in the state security vote, state landed properties and state Vehicle inventory to name a few.
“In the last 48 hours, we have been bombarded by a flurry of press releases and statement credited to Adams Oshiomhole, his cronies and media advicers, APC publicity secretary, as well as Hon Elizabeth Ativie and her lawyers. The State government through the attorney general and commissioner of Justice have done a ” Pontius Pilate”. They have denied the statement and remark of the publicity secretary of APC who alluded that they were seeking legal advice and interpretation from the attoney general. The attoney general said she has not been briefed “formally or informally”.
“While Adams Oshiomhole is denying what he expressly put in a letter, the Uhunmwode leaders of APC led by Hon Charles Idahosa are divided over the position they will take in the “Jeepsgate”! In a meeting held early Saturday 2nd, September 2017 and presided over by Hon Charles Idahosa, Hon Ativie was threatened to return the cars not later than Tuesday, 5th September 2017 as that date coincided with the deadline in the petition submitted by PDP to both ICPC and EFCC as the day they will seek an order of Mandamus to compel the arrest, investigation and prosecution of Adams Oshiomhole and herself for their role in the purported sale of government vehicles and property.
“At this junction, it is pertinent to say that returning the jeep which Hon Ativie claims she had sold is not the issue but; If she has contravened section 10 of the act that established the ICPC act. That if it is lawful to receive gratification for performing a duty for which she was duly elected.
“If Adams Oshiomhole as governor had the power to gift government property to Hon. Ativie or anyone else for that matter.
“That Adams Oshiomhole by gifting out the government vehicles in the circumstances which he said he did, was offering a bribe to a government official?”
He also argued, that “the issues are clear. We want to state that Edo PDP is doing this in the interest of Edo people and its assets. A legal resolution of this issue will be a check on the conduct and behaviour of future governors and elected officers of the State and Nigeria at large.
“A governor must know the limits of his powers and how to exercise them. He must know that deceit and bribery are not an acceptable”.
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