Politics

Ex-Edo speaker returns cars, to retrieve SUV from buyer

Mrs. Elizabeth Ativie

A former Speaker of the Edo State House of Assembly, Mrs. Elizabeth Ativie, has returned three out of the four official vehicles in her possession to the Assembly.

Ativie also assured the House that the fourth car, a 2016 Lexus jeep, which she claimed to have sold, would be returned soon.

The lawmaker, representing Uhunmwode constituency, was impeached along with her deputy, Dr. Justin Okonoboh; and the former Majority Leader, Mr. Foly Ogedengbe, for alleged misconduct.

But her refusal to return the official cars attached to her office as deputy speaker, had led to a controversy.

The vehicles also include one Prado jeep and two Hilux vans.

She had claimed that they were given to her for personal use by ex-governor Adams Oshiomhole for the sacrifices she made in the interest of peace in the state when she stepped down as speaker.

But Oshiomhole not only denied the claim he also advised her to return the vehicles or face criminal prosecution for fraud and stealing.

However, in her letter to the House, Ativie said she was taking steps to recover the fourth vehicle from the buyer even as she apologised to the lawmakers for any inconveniences the delay might have caused.

The Speaker, Mr. Kabiru Adjoto, confirmed the receipt of the three vehicles on Tuesday.

Adjoto stated, “She returned the three to my aides but my official vehicle has not been returned. She said she had sold that one (Lexus jeep) and making steps to retrieve it from the person that bought it.

“So, we have written to her that we consider it as criminal and we may take further necessary action if she does not return it in record time.”

Responding to her letter, the Clerk of the House, Mr. James Omoataman, urged the suspended lawmaker to make the spare keys of the three vehicles available to the leadership of the House.

Meanwhile, the House of Assembly has called on security agencies to beef up their surveillance in the state to ensure the safety of lives and property.

The resolution was sequel to a matter of urgent public importance raised by the member representing Esan South-East, Mr. Festus Edughele, during plenary.

Edughele lamented that recently, there had been cases of indiscriminate killings, kidnapping in some communities and the disappearance of one Mr. Ukaki Igberease, who allegedly left for his farm on September 2 but did not return.

According to him, several communities such as Ubiaja, Illushi, Oria, Ewohimi and Ugboha have witnessed a high rate of insecurity and crime perpetrated by suspected hoodlums.

“A patrol team of the Nigeria Police was ambushed by unknown gunmen, who killed a police officer while others sustained gunshot wounds,” he added.

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