Ambulance controversy: Traditional rulers defend ex-Rep member

Ambulance controversy: Traditional rulers defend ex-Rep member

- The people of Otuo community in Owan East local government area of Edo state are angry over a report in the media recently

- The report had accused a former member of the House of Representatives of corruption

- The community leaders said the community was not only embarrassed by the publication, but condemned in its entirety

The people of Otuo community in Owan East local government area of Edo state, on Wednesday, August 14, vowed to resist any attempt to smear the integrity of their son, Hon. Pally Iriase.

Iriase, 62, represented Owan West/East federal constituency in the 8th House of Representatives and was the deputy chief whip.

A recent report had alleged Iriase was being investigated over ambulances recovered from his country home.

Otuo community leaders also placed a curse on those they say are behind the attack on Pally's character and integrity.

The Ovie of Otuo, HRH Chief Shegun Ojeabuo, while addressing journalists at his palace, said the community was not only embarrassed by the publication, but condemned in its entirety.

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He said the publication was geared towards embarrassing the community and Hon. Iriase..

His words: “What we had here before was just an ambulance by the state government meant for the hospital, before Pally, brought another one as one of his constituency project for the hospital.

“When he brought the ambulance, we all agreed at a meeting, of the need for it to be kept in a secured place because of the insecure environment of the hospital. We agreed for it to be kept at his (Pally) premises because of lack of space as well as the environment at the Otuo police station.

“In fact, it will interest you to know that it is not the first time, neither will it be the last time that properties of the community will be kept at the resident of an individual; Pally is not just an individual in the community, he is a chief.

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“When the ICPC came on July 16 in respect of the alleged ambulance, we explained all this to them, we even gave them the address of whom was in possession of the other ambulance earlier brought by the state government, which they later traced to a matron in the council area.

“In actual fact, the community had wanted to protest over the coming of the ICPC, accompanied by the state commissioner for health, when we thought it was based on petition, but Pally told us no, that it was based on the handing over note where he made mentioned of the ambulance at his residence.”

The community head who used the opportunity to call on the state government to urgently work towards opening of the Otuo General hospital, wondered why some people will avail themselves to mischief.

“We are proud of what God has used Pally to achieve, not only in Otuo, but across the Owan federal constituency, and for whatever purpose this falsehood was meant to achieve, we pray that those behind this story will not go unpunished,” he said.

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Similarly, the Head of Otuo council of chiefs, Chief Kehinde Gabriel, attributed the story to mischief makers who are bent on tarnishing the image of Iriase.

He said the community would resist any attempt to destroy the image of the former lawmaker through the pettiness of some politicians.

Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered the immediate suspension of the chairman of the Special Investigation Panel for the Recovery of Public Property (SPIP), Mr Okoi Obono-Obla.

According to a statement from the presidency posed on micro-blogging site, Twitter, the suspension takes place with immediate effect.

“The suspension shall be in effect until the conclusion of ongoing ICPC investigations into a number of cases relating to Mr. Obono-Obla,” the statement noted.

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