By: Asare Asare, DailyPost.ng
Chairman of Cross River State taskforce on official vehicle recovery, Odey Ochicha, has disclosed that they have only retrieved only 19 vehicles out of 500 allocated by the immediate past administration of Ben Ayade.
He said out of the 19, only two are serviceable while 17 are in a state of disrepair.
He added that they are poised to use force to ensure the recovery of all the vehicles since they have their details.
He was a guest on Let’s Talk Nigeria, a flagship Sparkling FM Radio morning programme, on Friday where he stated that his taskforce was not enjoying cooperation from the former government officials in possession of the vehicles.
Ochicha said they are mandated to recover only operational vehicles attached to key officials of the previous government and not the ones given to commissioners and such top personnel.
He disclosed however that the commissioners were expected to gradually defray the costs of their official vehicles, and if they have not done so, such vehicles would be impounded.
“But ex-commissioners are free to retain official vehicles but must pay for them as specified otherwise, those vehicles would be impounded.
“After deadline issued by the taskforce, we will begin to impound such vehicles in whatever states they are. We will also carry out raids to recover the vehicles,” he said.
Answering further questions, Ochicha insisted that “Nobody is above the law, else they’ll be arrested, and charged to court.”
He lamented that they were having difficulties as plate numbers have been illegally changed by the said officials, but they have experts and security personnel attached to them who can easily detect them.
He called on members of the public to support them with information regarding such vehicles, and should not buy them if approached.
Radio callers, however, cautioned the taskforce against compromise while a few wondered whether the State was too poor not to let go of such vehicles as forms of appreciation for work done by the said officials.
The statement by the taskforce released on Tuesday read: “This is to inform the general public that those with Government Vehicle(s) officially or unofficially attached to them should please return all the vehicles to the transport officer, Governor’s office within 24hrs as failure to comply with this notice will be visited with further necessary action”.