The Asset Recovery Committee set up by the Osun State Government has said another N1.5bn worth of vehicles, which former state officials had in their possession, had been discovered.
On Friday, the committee released a list of vehicles valued at about N2.9bn, which was said to be in the possession of former Governor Adegboyega Oyetola, his wife, deputy and other top officials who served in his administration.
A statement by the committee chairman, Dr Basiru Salami, on Saturday said a new directive had been issued for the retrieval of another batch of vehicles numbering 55 with an estimated value of N1.5bn.
It read in part, “We have uncovered another batch of diverted vehicles numbering 55. Those in possession of those vehicles should return them forthwith.
“Among the assorted vehicle models are Kia Sportage numbering 40, Toyota Hilux, Prado SUVs, Toyota Avensis, Nissan Pathfinder SUVs, Toyota Highlander, Ford Transit passenger van numbering seven, among others.
“Ex-officials holding the vehicles include Oyetola’s commissioners and Special Advisers, Head of Service and chief executive of some government agencies.
“These categories of ex-officials are directed to return the vehicles in their possession before the administration triggers repossession operations.”
Meanwhile, the state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party in a statement by its chairman, Dr Adekunle Akindele, has expressed shock over the revelations and the justification by the state’s All Progressives Congress.
The PDP chairman said, “There is no law in Osun books that empowers a governor and cronies to bolt with state vehicles. It is embarrassing reading the opposition citing a fake law when in reality there is no state or federal law that supports such a brazen act of diversion. By openly admitting such diversion of public properties for private use, the ex-officials are culpable before the law.
“We submit that a tradition of ex-officials going away with their official vehicles is a corruption-ridden custom which is not known before the law. Using a supposed tradition to divert almost N4bn vehicles for private use is reprehensible and unacceptable.”