The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has said that the impeached deputy speaker of Edo State House of Assembly, Elisabeth Ativie, must face trial if she is discovered to have contravened Section 10 of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offenses Commission (ICPC) Act in withholding her official vehicles after impeachment.
This was contained in a statement signed by the state Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Mr. Chris Nehikhare, which was made available to journalists in Benin yesterday.
The PDP said the issue was no longer whether Ativie was made to return the four official vehicles she used as speaker but whether it was lawful for her to receive gratification for performing a duty for which she was duly elected.
But following the intervention of party leaders in her Uunmwode constituency, Ativie agreed to return the vehicles.
Ativie had alleged that the four vehicles, one Toyota Prado jeep, one Lexus jeep 2016 model and two Hilux vans were given to her by former Governor Adams Oshiomhole for the sacrifices she made for stepping down as speaker.
But Comrade Oshiomhole denied asking Ativie to convert the vehicles to her personal use and called on the state government to prosecute her.
The PDP said the party will still seek an order of mandamus to compel the arrest, investigation and prosecution of Oshiomhole and Ativie for their role in the purported sale of government vehicles and property.
“We want to establish if Oshiomhole as governor had the power to give government property to Hon. Ativie or anyone else. That by gifting out the government vehicles in the circumstances which he said he did, he was offering bribe to a government official?” the statement also read.
The PDP stated that it was pursuing the case in the interest of Edo people and its assets, noting that a legal resolution of the issue will be used as a check on the conduct and behaviour of future governors and elected officers in the state and Nigeria at large.