Governor Adeleke gave former governor Oyetola 48 hours to return government vehicles in his possession or face criminal charges.

The Osun State Government has threatened to invoke criminal law on former governor Gboyega Oyetola, his wife, Kafayat Oyetola, and some officials of his government for refusing to return government vehicles it said are in their possession.

Olawale Rasheed, spokesperson of Governor Ademola Adeleke, had on Friday said the concerned persons illegally took away government vehicles valued at N2.9 billion.

But the All Progressives Congress (APC) said the former governor and officials are entitled to keep the vehicles.

Mr Oyetola also said he gave the vehicles to the officials in appreciation for their service to the state.

On her part, Mrs Oyetola said she never used or took away a government vehicle.

However, Mr Rasheed in a statement on Sunday gave the officials 48 hours to return the vehicles or face criminal charges.

“As thing stands, the only law that will apply now except the vehicles are returned, relates to criminal theft of public properties and this will be invoked in the next forty-eight (48) hours,” he said.

Mr Rasheed said there are no laws in the state that permit public office holders to take official vehicles home when they leave office.

“What the law provides is possibility of auctioning off public properties if the need arises for such, submitting that such an exercise must pass through due process with the application of auctioning regulations and procedures.

“In this case, there was no auctioning of those vehicles. No tender payment, bidding and opening exercises. Without any legal foundation, vehicles cumulatively worth about N3.5 billion were shared out. Then, the affected officials admitted and are still laughably justifying illegality bordering on a criminal infraction.

“Citing non-existing laws is embarrassing to those affected and the State as a whole. How can learned people be relying on such an illegal foundation instead of immediately returning government vehicles to the pool without further delay,” Mr Rasheed said.

The governor’s spokesperson said the state government has records of all vehicles that were allegedly taken away by the former officials.

“Past officials have admitted bolting away with government vehicles. We have detailed records of all missing vehicles and which official is holding them. The Asset Recovery Committee will launch out on re-possession and retrieval exercise in line with stipulations of the law,” he claimed

“If Oyetola’s administration had done proper handover through coordinated transition, the team would have been saved from the embarrassing scenario of appropriating government properties without any legal basis,” he said.

“Just as the past government misgoverned the State probably on false advice, sheer ignorance or deliberate wickedness, its officials went away with government vehicles using tradition as law and exposing themselves and their principal to criminal trial”, the Spokesperson concluded in the chat with journalists on Christmas Day.”

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