BY GABRIEL ENOGHOLASE
BENIN—EDO State Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has described as fraudulent, the purchase of Prado Jeep for the 18 chairmen of the local government areas in the state by the state government.
State chairman of the party, Chief Dan Orbih, in a statement in Benin, said that the Edo State Government, recently asked the council chairmen to remit the sum of N18 million each for the purchase of the jeeps, asking, “when did the state government became the transport officers for the councils?
“Nowhere in the world is a Prado Jeep sold for N18 million. We are aware that the car is sold for between N9 and N11 million and good discounts are given for bulk purchase. We call on the state government to refund the balance of the money for the development of the councils. We also call on the National Assembly to take a second look at the Local Government Autonomy Bill so as to save the councils from the governors,” Orbih said.
But reacting to the allegation, Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Chief Lucky James and Special Adviser to Governor Adams Oshiuomhole (Media Affairs) Prince Kassim Afegbua, said the allegation was untrue as the state government had no hand in the purchase of the Prado jeeps.
James said: “There is no truth in the allegation. Each local government area bought its jeep, the government had nothing to do with it.”
On his part, Afegbua said “The local government councils are on their own with their legislative houses, they prepare their budgets which they present to their legislative councils for approval. So, it is not the business of Governor Adams Oshiomhole to pry into the activities of the councils. Whatever they do is not the business of the state government.”
The party also warned the Edo State Government not to proceed with plans to take over from the University of Benin property belonging to it, even as a case instituted over the matter had not been concluded in court.
An Edo State High Court, presided over by Justice Esohe Ikponmwen, had in March this year, restrained the Edo State Government