Akeredolu to Ajayi: return official vehicles or face embarrassment

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Ondo State Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu has vowed to embarrass his former deputy, Agboola Ajayi, if he fails to return four official vehicles in his possession.

The vehicles are Land Cruiser SUV, New Toyota Hilux, New Toyota Hilux and Toyota Hilux.

The governor said he would press charges against Ajayi and other former political appointees who failed to return government property in their possession.

He said it was reprehensible for Nigerians to condone the practice by elected officials or political appointees to take government belongings away when leaving office.

Akeredolu, who spoke yesterday through his Senior Special Assistant on Special Duties and Strategy, Dr. Doyin Odebowale, said he (governor) did not buy any new vehicle after he was sworn in.

He said he ensured that the vehicles he inherited were refurbished.

The governor said he would unleash security agencies on former political appointees, including his erstwhile deputy, who refused to return government property.

He said: “Ajayi has no right to steal if we want to use the proper word. Why does the former deputy governor think he merits those vehicles and others do not? The vehicles are public property. We have to stop this impunity. It is not only the ex-deputy governor, but other political appointees. This madness must stop.

“So they want to take the vehicles away and then we will use tax payers’ money to buy new ones. There are many of them yet to return vehicles. Some have returned, but others are still feigning that they thought they would be reappointed.

“We are waiting for the police to act on the petition. We will press charges against them. Ajayi no longer enjoys immunity; we will press charges against him. He should return those vehicles. Are we now going to buy vehicles for the new deputy governor?

“These things are pure stealing. We have to challenge these people. If Ajayi refuses to comply, we will press charges against him. At the end of Akeredolu’s first term, we sent letters to political appointees to return government belongings because nobody was sure of coming back.

“We will unleash security agencies on all of them. They made calls to Ajayi and he promised to comply, but later he started barring their calls. This is not decency and politics. Let Ajayi return the vehicles or else we will embarrass him.”

Police Commissioner Salami Bolaji confirmed receipt of the petition.

Salami, who spoke through the command spokesman, Tee-Leo Ìkoro, said he has directed investigation into the petition.

Ajayi last night said he is in possession of two official vehicles and not four as demanded to be returned by the state government.

Ajayi, who spoke through his media aide, Allen Sowore, said he returned all vehicles in his possession on February 23rd, the day his tenure ended, except the two vehicles, a Land Cruiser and a Hilux SUV.

He said he is entitled to those two vehicles just like other former deputy governors in the state.

Ajayi said one of the vehicles being demanded was at a mechanic workshop in Okitipupa, while the other was still with the dealer because full payment had not been made.

The ex-deputy governor said Governor Akeredolu should be prepared not to take any government vehicle at the end of his tenure if he (Ajayi) is made to return the two vehicles.