Fayose, Fayemi’s aide bicker over unpaid vehicle debt
While the government had on Tuesday threatened to arrest the affected 54 former political office holders or return the vehicles, the ex-officials described the ploy as a deliberate attempt to take them out of circulation ahead of March 28, this year Presidential and National Assembly elections.
A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the Government, Mr Idowu Adelusi said that the former political appointees were owing the state about N109.4m for vehicles monetised to them while in office.
He said, “Brand new vehicles were given to the political appointees that worked under Fayemi under the monetised policy, but 54 of the appointees refused to complete payment for the vehicles, with some owing as much as N5 million.
Adelusi, however, warned them to “either pay the N109.4 million or return the vehicles without delay to avert using the police to recover the vehicles from them.”
But the Chief Press Secretary to the former governor, Mr Yinka Oyebode has described the planned arrest of the members of the former state executive council as another “crude ploy by the state governor, Mr Ayo Fayose to harass and intimidate members of opposition, especially officials who served under the Dr Kayode Fayemi-led administration ahead of the March 28 presidential election.”
Oyebode said in a statement that the planned clampdown would be the second attempt by Fayose and the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), to get them out of circulation, having made a similar attempt to get many of them arrested in February before the presidential election which was originally scheduled for February 14 was postponed.
Explaining the circumstances surrounding the monetised cars, the ex-state officials said that it was a policy of the immediate past administrations in the state to monetise official cars to public office holders of certain categories.
Under the arrangement, the officials are to pay 60 percent of the cost of the vehicles while the government would pay the remaining 40 percent. Under the agreement, an agreed sum was deducted monthly from the officials’ salaries while the outstanding balance would be deducted from their severance allowance at the end of their tenure.
Severance payment to public office holders is 300 per cent of their annual basic salary and is payable at the end of their tenure in line with the directive of the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RAMFAC).
Oyebode said that by the time the Fayemi administration wound up on October 15, 2014, majority of the affected members were at various stages of completion of the repayment for the monetised cars, while government was also owing them some obligations including unpaid allowances, salaries and the severance allowance.
“A clearance letter stating the outstanding balance for each of the former officials were given to them as part of end of tenure formalities. The clearance letter indicated how much each member was owing (as outstanding balance on the cars) as well as how much the government owed as par severance allowance. As a matter of fact, the Ministry of Finance did a comprehensive document detailing the outstanding balance (payable by each officials), the amount to be paid as severance by government and final entitlement (of each official) after the outstanding balance on the monetised cars is deducted.
“All these documents were part of the handing over note to the incumbent administration and each of the officials was given copies. So it is mischievous and petty for the Fayose administration to claim ignorance of this simple administrative procedure.
“The fact of the situation is that it is the state that is owing most of the officials their severance pay. Once the government pays the severance allowance, the outstanding balance of the cars would be automatically deducted at source as agreed.
“The former state officials reminded Fayose and the State security agencies that the matter of the monetised vehicles is currently before the Ado- Ekiti High Court, in the case of Mrs Modupe Adelabu and 34 others Vs The Government of Ekiti State & 2 others (Suit NO: HAD/122/2004) filed on 15th December 2014 in which the former state officials are seeking some reliefs.
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