Barely 48 hours after the Speaker of the Ondo State House of Assembly, Hon. Olamide Oladiji, told the world that the House had no impeachment plan, we read in the news a purported directive by the House to its Clerk to write to the Deputy Governor of the State, Hon. Lucky Aiyedatiwa, over alleged gross misconduct.
However, while the letter from the House was yet to get to the Deputy Governor, some media organisations reported that the said gross misconduct was on an alleged purchase of an armoured SUV by Aiyedatiwa while he was Acting Governor. The reports added that the money for the said SUV was sourced from funds meant for palliatives for the people of the State.
This wild allegation which was credited to an unnamed source has been found to be a fabricated lie sold to some media outfits by those hellbent on damaging the reputation of the Deputy Governor ahead of what the House of Assembly intends to do.
A credible source in the Government of Ondo state has revealed that there was no such SUV in existence and at no time did Aiyedatiwa or anyone for that matter purchase any armoured SUV for the use of his office.
“The Acting Governor did not purchase any vehicle at anytime. As at today, there is no official armoured vehicle in his convoy. In fact, the armoured Mercedes Benz SUV he uses as official car is his personal vehicle which he has been using since he became Deputy Governor.
“Since his inauguration as Deputy Governor in 2021, he is yet to get the full compliment of the vehicles for his convoy. A prado jeep for his security details and a hilux van for escort were recently added to his convoy by the Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu. The Staff Car (an armoured SUV) which is supposed to be his official car has never been added to his convoy despite repeated requests for it.
“When the personal armoured SUV he uses broke down recently, his office made a request for the outstanding official car. The request was sent to the office of the Secretary to the State Government (SSG) which supervises the General Administration department in charge of such item as purchase of vehicles.
“The proposal has since remained between the SSG office and those in charge of procurement. Till today, there has been no order placed for the purchase of the vehicle by the office of the SSG.
“Therefore, how can the Deputy Governor who still uses his personal SUV as Staff Car be accused of purchasing N300m armoured SUV? How can the Deputy Governor who has no direct involvement in the purchase of vehicles be accused of buying such?
“The truth of the matter is that nobody bought any N300m SUV anywhere at anytime and the Deputy Governor has no knowledge of such transaction anywhere. It is the office of the SSG that buys government vehicles, not the Deputy or Acting Governor”, the source said.
The source added that: “Every item in government procurement has a budget head and therefore, it is not possible to bypass the budget and use palliatives money for the purchase of government vehicles.
“The mention of palliatives in the false media reports is an attempt to turn the good people of Ondo State against the Deputy Governor in order to attract public support for the illegality being planned against him. The people of Ondo Stage are more intelligent than to fall for such cheap lies.”