Tuesday, 6 October 2015

How Benue Govt Paid N355m To Ghost Coy –BIPC MD

Managing Director of Benue Investment and Property Company  (BIPC), Mrs. Bridget Sheidu has been unable to convince the Justice Elizabeth Kpojime-led Commission of Inquiry on what the sum of N355 million paid to one Sankalos Benue Farms Limited account was used for.

At the commission’s sitting in Makurdi yesterday, Sheidu said the said money, N355million was 40 per cent share of a counterpart fund in which Sankalos was supposed to also contribute 60 per cent for the purchase of agriculture equipment from Mexico.

She explained further that the money was actually supposed to be paid in dollars into a foreign account but was instead paid to the company in naira, adding that the money  was withdrawn once from the BIPC Zenith Bank account and paid into Sankalos account from where it was later withdrawn in bits within six days.

The BIPC boss, who was drilled for several hours by the Commission, disclosed further that  Sankalos Benue Farms Limited was registered with BIPC as partners without her knowledge until 2014 when she accidentally stumbled on the document.

In her submission, the Commission’s Chairman, Justice Kpojime wondered why Sankalos, which was meant to provide 60 per cent of the total sum for the procurement of equipment would turn around and demand for Benue’s 40 per cent, which was supposed to be utilised locally.

A member of the Commission, Joe Abaagu insisted the N355million never left Nigeria, adding that the Sankalos Benue Farms limited was only a fictitious name used as a conduit pipe to siphon the fund.

The BIPC boss also tried to justify how the sum of N72 million was used to furnish one BIPC Guest House and Events Centre in North Bank, Makurdi through the account of one Joseph Tereser, a Principal Manager in the company.

By Rose Ejembi

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