By Simon Ebegbulem
BENIN—Edo State House of Assembly has issued a two-day ultimatum to the former Deputy Speaker of the House, Mrs Elizabeth Ativie, to return her official vehicles to the House or face legal action.
In a letter addressed to Olayiwola Afolabi, counsel to the former Deputy Speaker, which was in response to an earlier letter written to the Speaker of the House, Mr. Kabiru Adjoto, by the former Deputy Speaker, the House said her claim that the Prado SUV was given to her by the former governor of the state, Mr. Adams Oshiomhole, was untrue.
It added that there was no evidence to show that Oshiomhole and the leadership of the House took such a decision.
The letter by the Clerk of the House, Mr. James Omoataman, pointed out that the leadership of the House had screened the letter which, according to the former Deputy Speaker, was issued to her by the former governor, as evidence that the vehicles were given to her.
The letter said: “We have compared the signature of the former governor on the said letter and it is not genuine and we hope your client is aware of the consequences of parading such document.”
“As your client will recall, the said vehicles were purchased for the use of the office of the Speaker when your client occupied the office. Consequently, when she became the Deputy Speaker, the official vehicles were left with her office whilst alternative arrangements were made for the office of the Speaker.
“Despite the clarity of the above, your client deliberately skewed the words used in the purported letter from the former governor, claiming that the former governor wrote to say the vehicles were given to her, which is far from the truth.
‘House has the documents’
“Furthermore, the original documents of the vehicles are still in the possession of the House of Assembly, which means that title to the vehicles were never transferred or intended to be transferred to your client contrary to your client’s assertions.
“Accordingly, I hereby, reiterate my instruction and demand your client’s immediate return of the vehicles attached to the office of the Deputy Speaker, which are still in her possession.
“Finally, if your client maintains that she indeed sold one of the vehicles, the Lexus SUV 2016 model, then we expect that your client will furnish us with the details of sales.
“The House expects to receive all the said vehicles or the vehicles that have not been sold, together with the details of the alleged sale of the Lexus SUV as enumerated not later than two days from the date of receipt of this letter.
“Failure to do so will attract the necessary legal action, civil and criminal, against your client.”