Saturday, 7 May 2016

Benue in panic as EFCC team arrives

Benue State Government has confirmed the arrival of operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, in the state.

DAILY POST gathered that the current government, which is currently swimming in debt, is panicking over the alleged diversion of bail out funds.

However, the governor insisted that the anti-graft team was only in the state to investigate his predecessor, Suswam.

Making the confirmation during a phone-in programme on Radio Benue Thursday, he said the anti-graft agency was in the state to investigate the former Governor, Gabriel Suswam over an alleged diversion of materials donated to victims of the 2012 flood.

“What I’m aware of is that the EFCC came here yesterday to investigate the past administration for diverting 10 rice milling machines that were donated to Benue State Government by Korean Government. It was in 2012 when we had this flood.

“N500 million was given by the Federal Government which was diverted by Suswam’s administration and pocketed.

“EFCC has been here for the past two days. Because as Chief Executive, they notified me that they were coming to the state and why they were coming.

“The recent accusation by ICPC that they discovered we paid N37 million twice for Lobi Stars to the office of the Deputy Governor was done in ignorance; I have further asked but thank God, ICPC did not say they are convicting us or charging us for diverting bailout. They said they are making enquiry.

“This money was paid to Lobi Stars for December and February salary. Lobi Stars as you know is being run by government even before we came on board and that is their allocation for every month.

“They too were not paid for December and February by past administration. So when we got this arrears, we decided to pay them. And the Deputy Governor is the Chairman of Lobi Stars, so all funding of the Club is channeled towards the office of the Deputy Governor. So there was no crime. We are waiting for ICPC to come, the records are there,” he stated.

Meanwhile, an insider hinted this newspaper that the EFCC was actually in the state to investigate the alleged diversion of public fund by the Ortom-led government.

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