Thursday, August 17, 2017 9:36 pm
• Insists vehicles were gifts from Oshiomhole
The former Deputy Speaker of Edo State House of Assembly, Mrs. Elizabeth Ativie, one of the three principal officers of the Edo State House of Assembly, has vowed not to return the official vehicles attached to her office as then Speaker of the Assembly, insisting the vehicles were personally given to her by former Governor Adams Oshiomhole, for the sacrefice she made.
Three principal officers of the House, namely, the Speaker, Justin Okonoboh, his Deputy, Mrs. Elizabeth Ativie and the Majority Leader, Foly Ogedegbe, were impeached in a rancorous leadership change last Monday.
Following a directive by the new Speaker, Kabiru Adjoto, the Clerk of the House had in a letter to the former Deputy Speaker, dated 14 August, 2017, directed her to return the official vehicles which included one Lexus Jeep, 2016 Model, One Prado Jeep and two Hilux Vans, and handover the keys of the vehicles to him on or before the close of work on Tuesday, 15 August 2017.
But in a letter to the Clerk of the House, Mr. James Omoataman, titled, “Re:Return of Official Vehicles,” written by her Counsel, Mr. Olayiwola Afolabi, Mrs. Ativie stated that former Governor Adams Oshiomhole signed a letter dated 19, July 2016, giving the vehicles to her in acknowledgement of the enormous sacrifices she was expected to make for the peace, security and well-being of the State.
To further butress her claim to ownership of the vehicles, Mrs. Ativie qouted parts of the letter written by the former Governor which said:
“I wish to convey my compliments and recall the discussion between the leadership of the Edo State House of Assembly and the Executive branch on the geo-political stability of Edo State and the need to engender equity, fairness and sense of belonging amongst all sections and citizens of our dear State.
“Given the exceptional circumstances surrounding the issues and in an explicit acknowledgement of the enormous sacrifices you were required to make for the peace, security, stability and well-being of our beloved State, the official vehicles attached to the office of the Speaker are now yours.”
According to the former Deputy Speaker, the current Speaker, Kabiru Adjoto, who was then the Chief Whip of the House, led a delegation of the House to the Executive Arm of government where the decision to give her as the then Speaker, the official vehicles was taken and implemented.
She explained that thereafter, she went to the license office with the said letter by the former Governor to register the vehicles in her name.
The embattled lawmaker therefore urged the Clerk of the House to advise the State Legislature properly, noting that he was in the best position to do so, in view of the facts presented above.