The House of Representatives on Wednesday gave a one week ultimatum to the former Minister of Information and Communications, Professor Dora Akunyuli, her Minister of State in the Ministry, Alhaji Ikra Bilbis and the Permanent Secretary, Federal Capital Territory, FCT,Engr Anthony Ozodinobi to return four official vehicles worth several millions of naira attached to them while in office or face the wrath of the law.
The Chairman of the House committee on public account, Hon Adeola Solomon Olamilekan gave the ultimatum after listening to the submission of the Officials of the Ministry led by its Permanent Secretary, Mrs Kehinde Ajoni who appeared before the Committee over the queries raised against the Ministry by the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation and said that all efforts to retrieve the Vehicles from the officials since 2010 had proved abortive.
The chairman ordered the committee clerk to immediately forward letters to the trio on its decision for them to return the four Toyota Hillux Double Cabin pick-up Vehicles to the Ministry within the stipulated time.
He threatened that failure on the part of any of them to comply with the directive would lead to their being dragged before the court and being charged with stealing of government properties in accordance with the law of the land.
Adeola said,"this is unacceptable, they should all return the vehicles in question within one week, failure which they would be charged to court for stealing. The secretariat should write the three of them immediately to convey the decision of this Committee to them, the evidences before us show that several letters had been written to them on the need for them to return the vehicles which they ignored'".
In her defence, Mrs Ajoni told the Committee said that the ministry made spirited attempts to recover the vehicles but that the only result they got was that Professor Akunyuli returned only one out of the two in her possession while Alhaji Bilbis and Engr. Ozodinobi held on to the ones in their possessions without any response to the official letter written to them by the Ministry.
She explained further that the five vehicles in question were for the National telephony project of the Ministry, and were attached to the affected officials and the auditors discovered that they were missing during audit routine checks.