BENUE PROBE:The Full Report And How Much Each Person is to Refund

BENUE STATE OF NIGERIA
GOVERNMENT VIEWS AND DECISIONS
ON THE
REPORT OF THE JUDICIAL
COMMISSION OF INQUIRY INTO FUNDS
ACCRUING/RECEIVED AND THE
UTILIZATION OF BENUE STATE
FUNDS/ASSETS, 2015
FEBRUARY, 2016
TABLE OF CONTENTS
S/NO CONTENTS PAGE(S)
1.0 Chapter One
INTRODUCTION:--------------------------------------------------------- 1-7
Chapter Two
2.0 TERM OF REFERENCE I::---------------------------------------------- 8-10
Identify all revenue sources and total
amount of revenue which accrued to
Benue State Government between June 2007
and May 2015.
Chapter Three
3.0 TERM OF REFERENCE II:----------------------------------------11-14
Specifically ascertain how much funds were
actually received from:
 Allocation from Federation Account.
 Local Government Funds
 Internally Generated Revenue (IGR)
 Bond and Loans
 Excess Crude Account
 Small & Medium Enterprises (SMEs) funds
 Ecological Funds
 VAT
 Sure-P Funds
 State Universal Basic Education Board (Sure-P)
 MDGs
 Any other Funds
Chapter Four
4.0 TERM OF REFERENCE III:---------------------------------------15-20
 Ascertain the quantum of stocks owned
by Benue State Government in Dangote Cement
Company Plc, Julius Berger Plc, Benue Breweries
Ltd and other Companies or Enterprises.
Chapter Five
5.0 TERM OF REFERENCE IV:--------------------------------------21-23
Ascertain the circumstances that led to the sale
of such shares / stocks and their worth or value.
Chapter Six
6.0 TERM OF REFERENCE V:----------------------------------------24-25
Identify the Investors who bought those
stocks/shares and determine whether the transaction
followed due process of the law.
Chapter Seven
7.0 TERM OF REFERENCE VI:------- -------------------------------26-27
Ascertain the where about of
the proceeds of the sale.
Chapter Eight
8.0 TERM OF REFERENCE VII:--------------------------------------28-30
Determine if the Government of Benue State
has any equity left in the said Companies and
the value of such equity.
Chapter Nine
9.0 TERM OF REFERENCE VIII:-------------------------------------31-33
Ascertain if the funds realized in
(a), (b, (d) and (e) above were appropriated.
Chapter Ten
10.0 TERM OF REFERENCE IX:--------------------------------------- 34-64
Ascertain the application and
utilization of such funds.
Chapter Eleven
11.0 TERM OF REFERENCE X:--------------------------------------65-173
Establish Misappropriation (if any),
and identify the person or persons involved.
12.0 Acknowledgement:--------------------------------------------------- 174
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1.0 INTRODUCTION
The Judicial Commission of Inquiry into Funds Accruing/Received
and the Utilization of Benue State Funds/Assets 2015 (hereinafter
referred to as “the Commission”) was established pursuant to the
Commission of Inquiry Law (Cap.40) Laws of Benue State 2004. On
August 11th 2015, the Executive Governor of Benue State Samuel I.
Ortom constituted the 6 member above named Commission by an
instrument dated 22nd July, 2015.
Following the report of the Transition Committee which presented a
gloomy picture of the economic and financial position of the State, it
became necessary to set up the Commission. The Committee had
observed that the handing over notes submitted by the last
administration showed unclear sources of revenues for the State, gross
financial indiscipline within the agencies and officials of government,
zero balances in Government treasury, a huge debt burden and
uncertain level of control in the ownership of Government-Owned
enterprises and stocks, and massive corruption and waste in the
business of governance. Similarly, infrastructure was in a state of decay
and disrepair and many projects were abandoned. In the same way
schools at all levels were closed down for many months due to nonpayment
of salaries and allowances. The non-payment of salaries to civil
servants at both State and Local Government levels led to a very low
morale among the work force.
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1.1 Terms of Reference
The Commission had the following Term of Reference:
a) Identify all revenue sources and the total amount of
revenue which accrued to Benue State government between
June 2007 – 2015.
b) Specifically ascertain how much funds were actually
received by Benue State Government from:
 Allocation from Federation Account
 Local Government Funds
 Internally Generation Revenue (IGR)
 Bonds and loans
 Excess Crude account
 Small and Medium Enterprisers (SME) funds
 Ecological funds
 VAT
 Sure-P funds
 SUBEB
 MDGs
 Any other funds
c) Ascertain the quantum of shares/stock owned by Benue
State Government in Dangote Cement Company Plc, Julius
Berger Plc, Benue Brewery Ltd and other Companies or
Enterprises.
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d) Ascertain the circumstances that led to the sale of such
share/ stocks and their worth or value.
e) Identify the investors who bought these shares/ stocks and
determine whether the transactions followed the due
process of law.
f) Ascertain the where about of the proceeds of the sale.
g) Determine if the Government of Benue State has any
equity left in the said companies and the value of such
equity.
h) Ascertain if the funds realized in (a), (b), (c) and (d) above
were appropriated.
i) Ascertain the application and utilization of such funds.
j) Establish misappropriation if any, and identify the person
or persons involved.
k) Recommend appropriate action to the Government.
The Commission was to complete its assignment within 6 months
from the date of its first public sitting.
2.0 MEMBERSHIP AND INAUGURATIONOF THE
COMMISSION
2.1 Membership
TheCommission was inaugurated on Tuesday 11th August, 2015
by the Executive Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom at the
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Banquet Hall of the Benue People’s House, Makurdi with the
following as members:
1. HON. JUSTICE E.N. KPOJIME - CHAIRMAN
2. BARRISTER J.I. ABAAGU - MEMBER
3. REV. FR. PROF. FRANCIS WEGH - MEMBER
4. DR. CHRISTOPHER OBUTE - MEMBER
5. JACOB I. MULYA - MEMBER
6. MR. SEKEGH AKAA - MEMBER/SECRETARY
7. MICHAEL. AGBER ESQ - LEAD COUNSEL
In his inaugural speech, Governor Samuel Ortom clearly stated
that “the objectives of the Commission are not to witch-hunt anyone but
rather to set the records straight”, emphasising further that his
Government had “already pledged to ensure compliance with the rule
of law and due process in the conduct of government business and this
will also apply to the work of the Commission. Our administration
wishes to emphasise that our core values include accountability,
transparency, fairness, justice, equity, discipline and selflessness. As we
inquire into the past, officials of my administration must note that one
day their work may also be put under scrutiny hence the need to live
above board. At every turn I have stated publicly that our administration
has zero tolerance for corruption and that any official, no matter how
highly placed, who converts public funds to personal use will be
sanctioned.”
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The Governor’s speech clearly set out the Commission’s direction
and modus operandi.
2.2 Commencement
The Commission held its inaugural meeting immediately after
inauguration at Court 4, High Court of Justice, Makurdi, Benue
State. Public sitting however, commenced on September 16,
2015.
3.0 METHODOLOGY
3.1 Preliminary meetings to the Commission were devoted to
devising a strategic plan of action that would facilitate effective
delivery of its job within the limited mandated time frame. The
major target was to achieve a detailed examination of the income
and expenditure profiles of all Ministries, Departments and
Agencies (MDAs) and wide coverage and publicity.
Thereafter, the Commission called for memoranda from MDAs
and the general public. The notice was well publicised in the
print, electronic and social mediaover a period of two weeks.
Such memoranda formed the basis of the subsequent intensive
and detailed public sittings which the Commission conducted as
well as the examination of relevant facts. The public sittings
provided an opportunity for all concerned and willing persons to
testify.
Following the poor response from the public, especially the
MDAs, the Commission held an interactive session with heads of
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MDAs in the State. At the session, a template was given to each
MDA to guide in the preparation of the required memoranda.
After this, the Commission prepared a timetable for the public
sittings and issued witness summons to the respective Chief
AccountingOfficers and heads of MDAs inviting them to appear
before the Commission with reference to the areas on which they
were expected to provide information. Public sittings commenced
in earnest on September 16, 2015. The Commission’s public
sittings were interrupted for 21 days by an interim order secured
by the former Governor, Dr. Gabriel Suswam, challenging the
legality of the Commission. The order was subsequently vacated
on November 9, 2015 and the Commission resumed its public
sittings on November 11, 2015. It however had to change its
issuance of witness summons to witness invitation consistent with
the ruling of the court. In deserving instances the Commission
took evidence in camera.
4.0 THE REPORT
The report of the Commission is in four volumes as follows:
a). Volume I:
i. Governor’s inaugural speech
ii. Records of proceedings.
b). Volume II:
i. Report of Findings and Recommendations
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c). Volume III:
i. Record of Witness Invitations and Proof of service
d). Volume IV:
i. Executive Summary
5.0 GENERAL REMARKS
Government has carefully examined the Committee’s Report,
findings and recommendations. Government has expressed its
views and decisions on the Report as contained in the succeeding
paragraphs of this White Paper.
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Chapter Two
2.0 TERM OF REFERENCE I:
Identify all revenue sources and total amount of revenue which accrued
to Benue State Government between June 2007 and May 2015.
2.1 Findings
The Commission found that:
a. Sources of revenue that accrued to the State during the period
under review can be broadly classified into 6 categories. These are:
(i).Allocations from FederationAccount to the State.
(ii). Allocations from FederationAccount to the Local Government
Councils.
(iii). Internally Generated Revenues (IGR)
(iv). Specialized funds from Federal Government.
(v). Loans and
(vi). Grants.
b. Specifically, 27 sources of revenues were identified during the
period. These were: Statutory Allocations from the Federation
Account to the State Government, Statutory Allocations from the
Federation Account to the Local Government Councils (LGCs),
State Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), Bonds, Loans from
Commercial Banks, Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises
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(MSMEs) Loans from Central Ban of Nigeria (CBN), Received
Funds from Bank of Industry, Excess Crude Receipts, Ecological
Funds, Value- Added Tax (VAT), State Component of Sure-P
funds, Local Government Councils Component of Sure-P funds,
Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Funds, Proceeds from
Sale of Shares, Proceeds from Sale of Government-owned
Enterprises, Lease of Government Assets and Properties, Budget
Augmentation Funds from the Federation Account, London Club
debt refunds, Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC)
Refunds, Exchange Rate Gains, Additional Funds from
Accountant-General of the Federation, Universal Basic Education
Commission (UBEC) Funds, Tertiary Education Trust (TET)
Funds, National Economic Empowerment and Development
Strategy (NEEDS) Assessment Funds, United Nations Development
Programme (UNDP) Funds and Board of Trustees (BOT) Grants to
Tertiary Institutions.
c. The total revenue which accrued to the Benue State Government
from all the revenue sources listed above from June 2007 to May
2015 was N1,021,931,043,163.63 (One Trillion, twenty one billion,
nine hundred and thirty one million, forty three thousand, one
hundred and sixty-three naira sixty-three kobo). Yearly details of the
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income and respective revenue sources is contained in Table 1 of
this report.
2.2 Observation
Some critical revenue sources especially funds from development partners
such as African Development Bank (ADB), Bank of Industry (BOI),
Infrastructural Development Bank, World Health Organisation (WHO),
Department for International Development (DFID), European Union,
etc. were never explored during the period under review.
2.3 Recommendation
A sound structure should be put in place to harness the revenue
opportunities available from these sources for the development of the real
sectors of the State economy.
2.4 Comment
Government accepts the recommendation.
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Chapter Three
3.0 TERM OF REFERENCE II:
Specifically ascertain how much funds were actually received from:
 Allocation from Federation Account.
 Local Government Funds
 Internally Generated Revenue (IGR)
 Bond and Loans
 Excess Crude Account
 Small & Medium Enterprises (SMEs) funds
 Ecological Funds
 VAT
 Sure-P Funds
 State Universal Basic Education Board (Sure-P)
 MDGs
 Any other Funds
3.1 Findings
The Commission found that the revenues which accrued to the State
from the stated sources were as follows:
a. Allocations from Federation Account (Statutory Allocations only)
– N282,105,369,075.23 (Two hundred and eighty two billion, one
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hundred and five million, three hundred and sixty nine thousand
and seventy five naira, twenty three kobo).
b. VAT – N56,202,702,671.69 (Fifty six billion, two hundred and two
million, seven hundred and two thousand, six hundred and seventy
one naira, sixty nine kobo).
c. Excess Crude Account – N35,838,989,072.88 (Thirty five billion,
eight hundred and thirty eight million, nine hundred and eighty
nine thousand seventy two naira, eighty eight kobo).
d. Ecological Funds – 2,500,000,000.00 (Two billion, five hundred
million naira only).
e. MDGs – N5,303,065,599.00 (Five billion, three hundred and three
million, sixty five thousand five hundred and ninety nine naira
only).
f. Sure-P Funds – N14,215,202,457.83 (Fourteen billion,
twohundred and fifteen million, two hundred and two thousand,
four hundred and fifty seven naira, eighty three kobo).
g. Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) Funds –
N3,500,000,000.00 (Three billion, five hundred million naira only).
h. Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) – N78,072,988,310.09
(Seventy eight billion, seventy two million, nine hundred and eighty
eight thousand, three hundred and ten naira nine kobo).
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i. Bonds and Loans – N69,843,333,076.26 (Sixty nine billion, eight
hundred and forty three million, three hundred and thirty three
thousand, seventy six naira, twenty six kobo.
j. Local Government Funds – N348,270,300,148.32 (Three hundred
and forty eight billion, two hundred and seventy million, two
hundred and forty eight naira, thirty two kobo.
k. UBEC Funds – N92,999,161,491.64 (Ninety two billion, nine
hundred and ninety nine million, one hundred and sixty one
thousand, four hundred and ninety one naira sixty four kobo)
l. Other funds – N23,257,654,251.22 (Twenty three billion, two
hundred and fifty seven million, six hundred and fifty four
thousand, two hundred and fifty one naira twenty two kobo).
3.2 Observations
1. Revenue opportunities from development partners were not
sufficiently explored during the period under review.
Consequently, the State recorded little or no revenue from those
areas especially those that required counterpart funding and
special institutional structures to attract.
2. The Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) at the state level
recorded within the period under review was low relative to the
opportunities available within the state. This is largely due to
inefficient revenue collection machinery and administration.
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Some agencies of the State such as Radio Benue, Secondary
Schools and Tertiary Institutions failed to disclose their IGR.
3. The Local Government Councils (LGCs) recorded zero level IGR
within the period under review.
3.3 Recommendations
1. Government should endeavour to pay its counterpart
contributions and establish necessary structures to access funds
from the development partners.
2. There should be strict compliance and enforcement of revenue
laws both at the State and the Local Government levels.
3. There should be full disclosure by all agencies of government of
their Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).
4. There should be strict monitoring and periodic auditing of IGR of
Local Government Councils to ensure full disclosure and
accountability.
3.4 Comment
Government notes the recommendations in paragraph 3.3 (1-4).
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Chapter Four
4.0 TERM OF REFERENCE III:
Ascertain the quantum of stocks owned by Benue State Government in
Dangote Cement Company Plc, Julius Berger Plc, Benue Breweries Ltd
and other Companies or Enterprises.
4.1 The Commission classified the Equity holdings of the State Government
into two groups for purposes of analysis:
a. Equities held and managed by Benue Investment and Property
Company (BIPC) and
b. Equities held in State-owned Enterprises controlled by the Ministries.
4.2 a. Details of stocks held by BIPC before and after the sale of July to
September 2014 as provided by BIPC were as follows:
S/No Name of Stock Quantity before
the Sale
Quantity as at
29th May 2015
1. Dangote Cement Plc 135,885,746 14,174,466
2. Julius Berger Plc 63,293,408 35,630,782
3. AIICO Insurance Plc 32,116,835 0
4. Union Bank Plc 160,055 0
5. UAC Nig. Plc 1,920,506 7
6. Afribank Plc. 67,797,365 0
7. CONOIL 432,934 0
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S/No Name of Stock Quantity before
the Sale
Quantity as at
29th May 2015
8. Dunlop Nig. Ltd. 172,080 172,080
9. Sterling Bank 4,307,556 0
10. Nigeria Energy Sector 4,000 4,000
11 Ashaka Cement 1,458,333 0
12. United Nig. Textile Plc. 846,453 846,453
13. Fidelity Bank Plc. 365,739 0
14. First Bank Plc. 2,516,761 23,756
15. UBA Plc. 389,443 0
16. Spring Bank Plc 570 0
17. Unity Bank Plc 585,477,400 585,477,400
18. P.Z Industries Plc 14,858 0
19. UBCAP 30,804 0
20. Guiness Plc 1416 0
21. Vitafoam Plc 20,000 0
22. 7UP Plc 2812 0
23. WAPCO Plc 500,000 500,000
24. Flour Mill of Nigeria Plc 1512 0
25. FCMB Plc 14,522,841 0
26. AFRIPRUD Plc 7,701 0
27. Diamond Bank Plc 25,000,000 7,000,000
28. Nestle Plc. 430,948 430,948
29. Zenith Bank Plc 5,500,000 5,500,000
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S/No Name of Stock Quantity before
the Sale
Quantity as at
29th May 2015
30. Nigerian Breweries Plc 350,000 350,000
31. GTBank Plc 4,570,000 4,570,000
4.2 b. Equitiesheld in State-Owned Enterprises controlled by Ministries –
These refer to companies floatedby the Government in which the State
Government holds significant ownership and control.
The Commission found that while some of these Enterprises were outrightly
sold, some were partly sold and a few others were leased out to
some private operators.
The ownership status of the enterprises is analysed as follows:
S/No Company Name Ownership Status Reporting Ministry
1. Benue Breweries Ltd. Sold out Industry, Trade &
Investment
2. Agro Millers Ltd. Sold out Industry, Trade &
Investment
3. Yuteco Foods Ltd. Sold out Industry, Trade &
Investment
4. Makurdi
International Hotel
Partly Sold Culture and
Tourism
5. Benue Hotels
Makurdi
Leased Culture and
Tourism
6. Ben Fruits Nig. Ltd. Leased Industry, Trade and
Investment
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S/No Company Name Ownership Status Reporting Ministry
7. Lobi Cassava Flour
Mills
Leased Industry, Trade and
Investment
8. Taraku Mills Ltd. Leased Industry, Trade &
Investment
9. Fertilizer Blending
Plant
Leased Agriculture
10. Makurdi Zoological
Garden
Leased Culture & Tourism
11. Benue Plaza Lagos Leased BIPC
12. Benue Plaza Abuja Leased BIPC
13. Benue Plaza Kaduna Leased BIPC
14. Livestock
Investigation and
Breeding Centre
Raav
Leased Agriculture
15. Poultry
Demonstration &
Hatching Centre
Leased Agriculture
16. Divisional Produce
Office, Makurdi
Leased Agriculture
17. Makurdi Golf
Course & Club
House
Leased Sports.
18. Petrol Filling Station Leased Works
19. Benkims Plastics Ltd Leased Industries, Trade
and Investment.
20. Petrol Filling Station Leased BIPC
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4.3 Observations
1. The Commission noted that there was a discrepancy in the
information given by BIPC and Elixir Securities Ltd, the managers
of the shares /stocks. For instance:
(a). While BIPC stated that the proceeds of the sale of the stock
was N8.3 billon, Elixir Securities Ltd stated that the amount
of the proceeds of sale was N9.4 billon.
(b). While BIPC stated that the worth of the State Government
stocks under their management as at October 2014 was 8.8
billion, Elixir Securities Ltd stated that the stock value within
the same time was N10.2 billion.
(c). While BIPC consistently maintained that the State
Government had not lost its seat on the Board of Julius Berger
Plc, Elixir Securities Ltd stated that the seat was lost but it had
commenced the process of buying back to recover the seat.
2. Contrary to the assertion by the managing director, Mrs. Brigid
Shiedu that some stock brokers were selling State Government
stocks without their consent and authorization, the Commission
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found that all such sales were duly authorized by BIPC, as such
authorization were signed at various times by Mrs Shiedu.
3. The portfolio management contract executed with Elixir Securities
Ltd was significantly skewed in favour of the latter.
4.4 Recommendations
1. BIPC, which is the custodian of these shares should under a new
management immediately proceed to carry out an independent
verification with a view to ascertaining the actual quantum of stocks
still held by the Benue State Government with Elixir Securities Ltd
and other stock brokers , as well as the actual amount realised from
the divestment exercise of 2014.
2. The portfolio management contract with Elixir Securities Ltd
should be reviewed by the new BIPCmanagement.
4.5 Comment
Government accepts the recommendations in paragraph 4.4 (1 &2).
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Chapter Five
5.0 TERM OF REFERENCE IV:
Ascertain the circumstances that led to the sale of such shares / stocks
and their worth or value.
Findings:
5.1 The Commission found that:
a. The shares were sold on the directive of the then Governor,
Dr.Gabriel Suswam. According to BIPC, the Governor summoned its
Managing Director Mrs. Brigid Shiedu and his former Commissioner of
Finance, Mr. Omadachi Oklobia to Government House and informed
them that Government wanted to complete some development projects
but had run out of funds. Consequently, he directed the sale of part of
the portfolio of shares held by Government through BIPC since it was the
most viable option for raising funds internally.
b. The value of the shares at the time was N25.2billion. However, the
Governor directed that N10billion worth of shares should be sold. The
stockbrokers – Elixir Securities Ltd - informed the Commission that a
total sum of N9.411billion was realized from the sale of the shares and
was paid into three (3) different accounts as directed by BIPC.
c. BIPC authorized the stockbroker to sell the shares at a discount of
15%.
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5.2 Observations
1. There was absolute lack of sincerity in the entire transaction ab
initio, because the same projects which were to be funded by the
proceeds from the sale of shares were the basis for which two bonds
worth N18billion were earlier floated. Moreover, the manner in
which the proceeds from the sale of these shares were
misappropriated underlines the lack of sincerity.
2. There was a discrepancy in the figures given as the amount of
proceeds realized from the sale of shares. Whereas BIPC informed
the Commission that N8,368,699,932.30 was realized, Elixir
Securities Ltd informed the Commission that N9,411,708,009.51
was realised.
3. The discount of 15% is considered extremely high.
5.3 Recommendations
1. The Commission recommends that a new Management should
immediately be put in place at BIPC.
2. The new management should take urgent steps to verify the actual
amount realized from the divestment exercise of 2014.
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3. The new Management should carry out an independent verification
to ascertain the actual quantum of stocks still held by Benue State
Government with Elixir Securities Ltd and other stock brokers.
5.4 Comment
Government accepts recommendations in paragraph 5.3 (1-3).
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Chapter Six
6.0 TERM OF REFERENCE V:
Identify the Investors who bought those stocks/shares and determine
whether the transaction followed due process of the law.
Findings
6.1 The Commission found that:
a. Dangote Cement, Julius Berger and other stocks being managed by
BIPC were sold through Elixir Securities Ltd and bought by investors
through various stockbrokers. However, Elixir Securities Ltd and BIPC
refused to disclose the identity of the buyers to the Commission.
b. Benue Breweries Ltd. was sold for N400,000,000.00 to M/S
Consolidated Breweries Ltd.
c. Agro Millers Ltd was sold for N400,000,000.00 to M/S Masco Agro
Allied Industries Ltd.
d.Yuteco Foods Ltd was sold for an unspecified amount under
receivership circumstances.
e. The entire process of these sales did not follow due process of law as no
pre-sale valuation was done to ascertain the true value of Benue Breweries
Ltd. and Agro Millers before the sale, and neither were the sales
consistent with the Benue State Privatization Law.
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6.2 Observation
The Commission observed that the refusal by BIPC and Elixir Securities
Ltd to disclose the identity of the new investors is suspicious particularly
in view of the heavy discount that was accorded to the transaction.
6.3 Recommendation
The provisions of the Benue State Privatization Law should be adhered to
in all future privatization exercises in the State.
6.4 Comment
Government accepts the recommendation. Government further directs the Ministry
of Finance to investigate and uncover the true identities of the investors that
bought the stocks/shares.
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Chapter Seven
7.0 TERM OF REFERENCE VI:
Ascertain the whereabout of the proceeds of the sale.
Findings
7.1 The Commission found that:
a.Shares sold by BIPC amounting to the disclosed sum of
N9,411,708,009.51 were directly paid into Bank Accounts as follows:
Beneficiary Amount (N) Bank Account Number
BIPC 1,000,000,000.00 GTBank 0027866325
Benue State Min of
Finance.
5,300,699,991.00 Zenith 1013852648
Fanfash Resources 3,111,008,018.51 Zenith 1013677218
b. The Zenith Bank account no. 1013677218 into which the sum of
N3,111,008,018.51 was deposited was presented as a project account of
Ministry of Finance by Hon. Omadachi Oklobia. However, the
Commission found that it is private account belonging to Fanfash
Resources, owned by one Abubakar Umar, a Bureau de change operator.
The said amount was withdrawn, converted into foreign exchange and
given to the former governor, Dr. Gabriel Suswam.
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The sale proceeds of Benue Breweries and Agro Millers, and the lease
proceeds of Taraku Mills and other enterprises were treated in the same
way as the amounts realised were paid into accounts of the respective
reporting ministries and spent immediately, with most withdrawals being
made in cash.
c. Benue Breweries and Agro Millers were sold and the proceeds paid into
the Ecobank and Skye Bank accounts of the Ministry of Commerce and
Industries under the leadership of Hon. Terfa Ihindan, and the entire
amount spent without appropriation.Other sale and lease proceeds were
misapplied in a similar manner.
7.2 Observation
The Commission observed that:
i. The transactionswere ill-motivated and not transparent.
7.3 Comment
Government notes the observation.
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Chapter Eight
8.0 TERM OF REFERENCE VII:
Determine if the Government of Benue State has any equity left in the
said Companies and the value of such equity.
Findings
8.1 The Commission found that:
a. Records provided by Elixir Securities Ltd show that the State
Government through BIPC still has the following shares:
i. Dangote Cement Plc. - 4,174,466 units of shares
ii. Julius Berger Plc. - 44,400,000 units of shares
iii. UAC - 7 units of shares
iv. Dunlop Nig. Ltd. Plc - 172,080 units of shares
v. Nigeria Energy Sector - 4,000 units of shares
vi. United Nigeria Textile Plc - 846,453 units of shares
vii. First Bank Plc. - 23,756 units of shares
viii. Unity Bank Plc. - 585,477,400 units of shares
ix. Nestle Plc. - 500,000 units of shares
x. GTBank Plc - 5,500,000 units of shares.
b. Benue State Government has no equity left in Benue Breweries Ltd,
Agro Millers Ltd and Yuteco Foods Ltd as they have been sold
outrightly.
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c. The sale of Julius Berger shares which was a strategic investment for
the State Government compromised the State Government’s seat
on the Board. But Elixir Securities informed the Commission that it
had initiated a buy back to increase the State Government’s holding
and secure a seat on the Board of the Company. This buy back
transaction was still ongoing. This explains the increase of the Julius
Berger stocks from 35,630,782 units as at 29/5/2015 to 44,400,000
units as at November 2015.
d. The total value of Benue State equity holdings in all the firms above
cannot be easily stated as stock prices fluctuate on a daily basis.
However, according to Elixir Securities Ltd, the total value of stocks
of the State under its management as at 10th November 2015 stood
at N9,408,025,085.72.
e. The equity holdings of the State Government in the following
enterprises are still intact:
i. Benue Hotels, Makurdi
ii. Makurdi International Hotel
iii. Ben Fruits Nig. Ltd
iv. Lobi Cassava Flour Mill
v. Taraku Mills Ltd
vi. Fertilizer Blending Plant
vii. Makurdi Zoological Garden
30
viii. Benue Plaza Lagos
ix. Benue Plaza Abuja
x. Benue Plaza Kaduna
xi. Livestock Investigation and Breeding Centre Raav
xii. Poultry Demonstration and Hatching Centre,
xiii. Divisional Produce Office Makurdi,
xiv. Makurdi Golf Course
xv. Ministry of Works Filling Station Makurdi and
xvi. BIPC Filling Station, Makurdi.
The value of these firms can be ascertained by qualified independent
valuers and quantity surveyors.
8.2 Recommendations
The Commission recommends that:
i. The portfolio managers should hasten the buyback of the
Julius Berger stocks to secure the State’s seat on the
Company’s Board.
ii. There should be a closer monitoring of the portfolio managers
by the new management of BIPC.
8.3 Comment
Government accepts the recommendations in paragraph 8.2 (i&ii).
31
Chapter Nine
9.0 TERM OF REFERENCE VIII:
Ascertain if the funds realized in (a), (b, (d) and (e) above were
appropriated.
Findings
9.1 The Commission found that:
a. Total revenues that accrued to the State from all sources from June
2007 to May 2015 was N1,021,931,043,163.63 (one trillion, twenty
one billion, nine hundred and thirty one million, forty three
thousand, one hundred and sixty three naira, sixty three kobo).
b. Total approved estimates for the same period was
N802,044,735,336.00 (eight hundred and two billion, forty four
million, seven hundred and thirty five thousand, three hundred and
thirty six naira) only.
c. This means that the difference of N219,886,307,827.63 (two hundred
and nineteen billion, eight hundred and eighty six million, three
hundred and seven thousand, eight hundred and twenty seven naira,
sixty three kobo) was not appropriated.
d. Specifically:
(i) The entire sale and lease proceeds of Government Enterprises
amounting to over N10.9billion between June, 2007 and May
2015 was spent without appropriation.
32
(ii) The entire SURE-P fund proceeds of over N14.2billion was
expended without appropriation.
(iii) The expenditure of the entire bond proceeds amounting to
N18billion realized in 2011 and 2014 were not appropriated.
(iv) The entire amount of N35,025,368,000.00 expended on
“logistic funds for Security Surveillance” was not appropriated.
(v) The total expenditure of N5,887,000,000.00 as “Cost of
Running Government” was not mentioned in any Appropriation
Act during the period.
9.2 Observations
The Commission observed that:
i. Due process was not followed in the conduct of floating both bonds
while there was absolute lack of transparency in the utilization of
the proceeds therefrom.
ii. The amount of N35,025,368,000.00 expended on security
surveillance was too high, having regard to the fact that security
issues were allegedly funded from other sources, such as Ministry of
Finance, Local Government Councils and ALGON.
iii. The expenditure head “Cost of Running Government” is alien to
public sector budgeting.
33
9.3 Recommendation
The Commission recommends that all government revenues should be
appropriated.
9.4 Comment
Government notes the recommendation.
34
Chapter Ten
10.0 TERM OF REFERENCE IX:
Ascertain the application and utilization of such funds.
Findings
10.1 The Commission found that:
a) Out of the total revenue of N1.02trillion realised by the government
of Benue State from various sources between June 2007 and May
2015, only about 15% was expended on capital projects while 85%
was used as recurrent expenditure.
b) The management of the capital expenditure was characterized by:
i. Lack of due diligence in contract billing resulting in contract
padding and inflation.
ii. Absence of due diligence in contract award.
iii. Use of substandard materials.
iv. Poor quality of jobs executed.
v. Abandonment of projects after collecting payments.
vi. Payment for jobs not executed and
vii. Multiple payments for the same contracts.
All these resulted in a huge capital expenditure profile without a
corresponding physical development.
35
c) In the same vein, the huge recurrent expenditure profile was found
to be laden with waste and loss of financial resources occasioned by
the complete abandonment of financial instructions and regulations.
For instance, some contracts were awarded verbally and paid for in
cash, while others were without a consideration clause which is an
essential component of every valid contract and yet paid for at the
caprices of the awarding authority.These contracts without stated
amounts and timelines were used as instruments to siphon
government funds as they were endlessly paid for. In addition, Job
Orders and contracts were often highly inflated and given arbitrarily
by the Governor and Commissioners without following laid-down
procedures.
d) Salaries and wages were also found to have increased astronomically
within the period. The total amount spent on salaries for the State
civil servants and political appointees (excluding Local Government
Staff and Primary School Teachers) for the period under review was
N253,737,786,385.00 (two hundred and fifty three billion, seven
hundred and thirty seven million, seven hundred and eighty six
thousand, three hundred and eighty five Naira).
The major reasons for the astronomical increase in the salaries and
wage bills within this period were salary adjustments and defective
36
payroll management. The manual payroll system was grossly
compromised and abused. The e-payment and biometric payroll
system that was later introduced at high cost to the government could
not eliminate the incidence of ghost workers due to a deliberate
manipulation of the system.
e) Statutory overhead provisions were irregularly paid to the MDAs.
The irregularity of the release of the overhead allocations often led the
Commissioners and their Permanent Secretaries to violate financial
regulations in order to run their offices, a system some witnesses
referred to as “doctrine of necessity”. The violations ranged from
illegal placement of government funds in fixed deposits accounts with
banks and withdrawal of monthly accrued interests, diversion of funds
meant for specialised purposes, corruption in contract administration
and outright cash withdrawals and disbursements from accounts of
MDAs without approvals.
f) Revenues were being collected and spent by the MDAs without
remittance to the treasury as required by law. - The Commission in
the course of its sitting examined the appointment of the former
Executive Chairman of BIRS, Mr Andrew Ayabam, and his activities
and arrived at the following findings:
37
i. The terms and conditions of the pioneer Executive Chairman,
Mr. Andrew Ayabam, were totally unrealistic. The Chairman
was given a bonus of 10% of the excess of the target set for him.
ii. The calculation of the bonus was not based on the revenue
actually collected as it covered all revenues, including the PAYE
of civil servants deducted at source by the Office of the
Accountant-General and the revenue generated by other
agencies.
iii. The amount collected for a particular month was determined by
the Executive Chairman rather than the Accountant-General
who has the responsibility for reporting revenues accruing to the
State. This permitted paper revenue to be declared.
iv. The Executive Chairman generated and spent revenue directly
without appropriation or approval. Such payments included his
salaries and benefits.
v. Before his engagement, bonuses for revenue generation were
paid to the Board of Internal Revenue, the precursor of the
Benue State Internal Revenue Service and not the Executive
Chairman.
vi. The Executive Chairman acted simultaneously as the Executive
Chairman and consultant to the Board.
38
g) The Commission also found that some Institutions and Parastatals
like the Examination Board, Radio Benue and some other
Institutions generated and spent their Revenues without
appropriation or remittance to the Accountant General’s Account.
h) Huge cash transactions were found to be the order of the day. The
cash transactions were adopted ostensibly to conceal fund movement.
The obliteration of the track of movement of funds enabled
government officials to embezzle public funds easily. Government
officials engaged in all manner of cash transactions above the limits
stipulated by the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act and CBN
regulations. Government business was generally carried out
conveniently in cash thereby reducing accountability but exposing the
handlers to high risks of robbery attacks, theft and general losses.
These unwholesome practices were found to be a major source of
revenue leakage during the life of the past administration. For
example, about 80% of transactions by the Bureau of Local
Government and Chieftaincy Affairs were done in cash. From its FBN
account 2017241513 which commenced operation in June 2011, the
Bureau made cash withdrawals of N9,202,400,000.00 in 2011,
N12,212,500,000.00 in 2012, N10,550,300,000.00 in 2013,
N8,577,200,000.00 in 2014 and N2,518,600,000.00 by May 2015
when the tenure ended. Thus, total cash withdrawals from this
39
account alone between 27th June, 2011 and 30th May, 2015 amounted
to N43,057,000,000.00 (Forty three billion and fifty seven million
naira).
Staff of the Bureau including Moses Detso, Ndera Moses, Isaiah
Ipevnor, John Chahul, Agbo Agbo, Andrew Ayande and Fred Ikpeen
were used as instruments of these acts. On the instruction of the
Governor and his Special Adviser on Local Government and
Chieftaincy Affairs, Mr. Solomon Wombo, these officers withdrew
cash of over N500million per transaction contrary to the Money
Laundering Act. Details of the cash withdrawals are contained in
Table 2 of this report.
The Ministry of Finance equally engaged in this unwholesome
practice, with the Commissioner, Permanent Secretary and their Staff
as well as bankers dealing in high volume cash transactions amounting
to hundreds of millions of naira.
i) An expenditure subhead known as “Cost of Running Government”
was invented by the Ministry of Finance and Accountant-General’s
Office. This strange sub-head which is completely unknown to public
sector finance and accounting system, was used by the Accountant-
General to release on different occasions a sum of over
N5,887,000,000.00 (Five billion, eight hundred and eighty seven
40
thousand naira) to various MDAs including Government House,
Ministry of Finance and Bureau of Internal Affairs and Special
Services between September 2011 and May 2015 without approval.
Government House received N500million in 2011, N20million in
2013, N50million in 2014 and N50million in 2015 making a total of
N620million. The Ministry of Finance received N4.3billion in 2012,
N2.1billion in 2013, N275million in 2014 and N155m in 2015
totalling N5,887,000,000.00. The Bureau of Internal Affairs and
Special Services received N376million in 2015. Unfortunately, all
monies released as “Cost of Running Government” had no approvals
backing them, and were withdrawn in cash and expended by the
Governor, Dr. Gabriel Suswam, his Finance Commissioner, Hon.
Omadachi Oklobia, and the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of
Finance, Mrs. Ruth Ijir.
j) The concept of security vote was grossly abused. Firstly, there was no
security vote appropriated in the budgets. Funds were simply taken to
the Governor in cash by officials of the Ministry of Finance and the
Bureau of Internal Affairs and Special Services on demand and
classified as “logistics funds for security surveillance”. This monthly
expenditure was irregular as it ranged from N100million to over
N1.2billion in some months during the life of the administration.
Consequently, a huge total unappropriated sum of
41
N35,025,368,000.00 (thirty five billion, twenty five million, three
hundred and sixty eight thousand naira) was used as “logistics funds
for security surveillance” between June 2007 and May 2015. Details of
this are contained in Table 3 of this report.
k) Other Funds:
1. SURE-P Funds - A total of N14, 215,202,457.83 was received
as SURE-P funds between 2012 and 2014 as detailed below:
a. State Component - N7, 743,731,873.59
b. Local Government Component - N6, 472,191,797.84
Total - N14,215,923,671.43
These funds were by law required to be managed through a wellstructured
State Implementation Committee (SIC) and channelled
specifically to thematic areas of critical infrastructure and social security
programs such as women and youth empowerment, unemployment and
community services through a rigorous disbursement procedure.
Regrettably, the Benue State Implementation Committee (SIC) was only
inaugurated on 24th February, 2014, at the prompting of the Benue State
House of Assembly queries, when the funds had been almost completely
misappropriated.
For example the Commission found that out of the N7.7billion State
component,only N1,236,318,000.00 was expended by the State
Implementation Committee of the Schemes for the purpose intended.
42
The balance ofN6,507,413,873.59was diverted (and in most cases
withdrawn cash) and spent on questionable purposes on the approval of
Dr. Gabriel Suswam, his Finance Commissioner,Hon. Omadachi
Oklobia, the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Finance,Mrs. Ruth Ijir and
the Accountant-General,Mr. Joseph Kpaakpa, under the guise of Local
and Foreign Travels, local government election, payroll biometric
registration, weddings, constitution amendment, Government House
furniture, hosting of Nigerian Bar Association meetings, Lobi Stars,
security surveillance, purchase of vehicles for Commissioners and State
Assembly members, sallah gifts for the Governor, diesel for Governor’s
lodge, celebration of Benue Woman for 2013, Government House
overhead, Christmas and new year celebration, annual golf tournament,
voter’s registration exercise, and “additional cost of running government”.
Most of these funds transferred to the various MDAs, especially the
Ministry of Finance and Government House, were withdrawn wholly in
cash from the bank and taken to the Governor, Dr. Gabriel Suswam, or
the Finance Commissioner, Hon. Omadachi Oklobia.
The Local Governments’ SURE-P component on the other hand was
diverted to unrelated uses of “budget augmentation”, purchase of
Christmas rice, purchase of fertilizer, ALGON projects and purchase of
security vehicles for Local GovernmentCouncils by the Governor and his
Special Adviser, Mr. Solomon Wombo. Moreover, a record of the
43
amounts received by Local Governments from SURE-P funds shows that
onlyN2,596,162,422.32 out of the N6,472,191,797.84was released to
the Local Government Councils by the Bureau. The balance was
disbursed as follows:
i. N206,500,000.00 paid into ALGON account and withdrawn cash.
ii. N58,500,000.00 was paid to Lead Automobile for purchase of vehicles
for Government Officials.
iii. N64,402,210.90 was expended on pilgrimages.
iv. N4,000,000.00 was paid for Swine Crop Project.
v. The balance of N3,542,627,165.00 was transferred into the JAAC
account with First Bank and withdrawn cash. The statement of account
showed a zero balance as at 29th May, 2015. Details of SURE-P funds paid
to Local Government Councils and their utilization are captured in Table
4 of this report.
2. Bonds –
i. Benue State Government issued two fixed-rate bonds of N13billion
and N5billion in 2011 and 2014 respectively.
ii. The N13billion Bond was approved by the State House of
Assembly at the request of the Governor containing a list of projects
to be financed with the proceeds. The projects were:
44
a. Construction of Greater Makurdi Water Works.
b. Construction of the Otukpo Township Water Supply Scheme.
c. Construction of Otobi Water Works.
d. Construction of Katsina - Ala Water Works.
e. Construction of Water Scheme at Anyiin, Logo Local Government
Area.
f. Construction of Taraku – Naka – Agagbe Road.
g. Construction of Ge – Ikyobo – Anshagba Road.
h. Construction of Anyiin – Ugba – Amaafu Road.
i. Construction of Agbeede – Amua – Anshagba Road.
j. Construction of Zaki-Biam – Afia – Gbeji Road.
k. Construction of Vandeikya – Koti Yough – Adikpo Road.
l. Construction of Eke – Olengbecho – Ugbokolo – Otukpa –
Orokam Road.
m. Construction of Orokam – Owukpa – Okpoga – Utonkon Road.
n. Construction of Otukpo – Utonkon – Igumale Road.
o. Construction of Oju – Obussa – Utonkon Road.
45
p. Construction of Benue State University Teaching Hospital
Makurdi.
Curiously, some of the listed projects were those documented as having
been completed in the administration’s “First Term Report: 2007 –
2011”. These projects were consistently funded from the 2008 to 2015
budgets.
iii. The N5billion bond was meant for the following projects:
a. Construction of Oshigbudu - Obagaji 10.10km road.
b. Construction of Oju – Obussa - Utonkon 51.48km road.
c. Construction of Taraku – Naka – Agagbe 61km road.
d. Up-grade / rehabilitation of Daudu – Gbajimba road from rural
road.
e. Construction of Wannune – Ikpa – Igbor road.
f. Rehabilitation and up-grading of water works at Makurdi, Otukpo
and Katsina – Ala.
iv. An Irrevocable Standing Order (ISPO) was issued authorizing
deductions from the State Government’s allocations at source.
v. The prospectus shows that the application list for the N5billion
bond opened and closed on the same date – 25th February 2015.
46
vi. The entire N13b bond was diverted and embezzled by the former
Governor, Dr. Gabriel Suswam and his associates Hon. Omadachi
Oklobia and Mrs. Ruth Ijir.
vii. Again the N5billion bond proceeds was never captured in the
revenue/expenditure profiles of the fiscal year 2014 nor did the
funds appear in the revenue estimates of the 2015 budget. Yet the
funds were received and spent during the period. This means the
entire bond proceeds were also not appropriated.
viii. Although the various Benue State official documents refer to the
bond as N5billion, the prospectus however showed that it was
N4,959,000,000 that was floated.
ix. Only N4,537,596,320.50 was received into the State Government
account as proceeds from the said bond.
x. Importantly, none of the documented list of projects to be financed
by the N5billionbond benefitted from the bond proceeds as
outlined. Rather, the proceeds were allegedly used for payment of
salaries, “logistics funds for security surveillance”, “additional cost of
running government”, purchase of vehicles, Easter activities,
“computer paper and materials necessary for the preparation of
payrolls”, local and foreign trips and repair of cars. Meanwhile,
some of the listed projects that necessitated the bond issue remain
unexecuted to this moment. Some of them which were documented
47
to have been completed in the “First Term Report: 2007 – 2011”
still featured in the bond prospectus. For example, the Oju –
Obussa – Utonkon and Taraku – Naka – Agagbe Roads were said to
have been completed between 2007 – 2011 with the sums of
N3,997,787,734.92 and N4,728,615,045.00 respectively.
xi. The Cost of Bond Issues: The former Governor approved in one
day (3/3/2014) two separate memoranda of N500m and N414m
amounting to N914,000,000.00 as cost of “issuance of fixed rate
bond by way of public offering” and another N40,960,000.00 as
cost of preliminary work on proposed Benue State bond. The earlier
expense of N914m was purportedly meant to cater for “pre-bond
activities” and cost of “pursuing the bond”. The amounts which
were disbursed from proceeds of shares sold by the Government
were again withdrawn in cash from the Ministry of Finance
accounts.
3. CBN Commercial Agricultural Credit Scheme (CACS) Loan – This
loan of N1,000,000,000.00 was accessed from CBN in 2012 to
finance small scale farmers in order to boost agricultural production,
but was wholly applied or diverted as highlighted below:
a. N806,625,000.00 was purportedly given as loans mostly to
politically exposed persons, friends and relations of the Governor
using non-existent businesses and names. The qualifying criteria as
48
set out by CBN was blatantly disregarded in the disbursement
process and funds used largely for political patronage.
Consequently, little repayment has been achieved since 2012.
b. The sum of N193, 700,700.00 was completely diverted to
Government MDAs as detailed below without any record of
repayment up to date:
i. Ministry of Finance - N163.4million
ii. Government House Makurdi - N5.3million
iii. Bureau of Internal Affairs and Special Services N25million
Curiously, these amounts were withdrawn from the MDAs’ accounts in
cash on the approval of Mr. Omadachi Oklobia, the Permanent Secretary,
Mrs. Ruth Ijir, and other associates of the Governor.
The entire N1,000,000,000.00 CACs loan proceeds was also diverted /
mismanaged.
4. CBN MSMEs Development Fund
The State Government applied for a share of the N220billion Micro,
Small and Medium Enterprises Development Fund setup by the Federal
Government through the CBN and N2billion was approved and accessed
by the State. This fund was specifically meant to be given as loans to
MSMEs to boost entrepreneurship and economic development in the
State. The mode of disbursement of the fund as set by CBN was through
49
Micro-finance banks (for Micro and small scale enterprises) and
Commercial Banks (for medium scale enterprises) with maximum single
obligor limits of N500,000.00, N5,000,000.00 and N50,000,000.00 for
micro, small and medium scale enterprises respectively. Moreover, the
wholesale funds were to be accessed from CBN by the States through a
dedicated Participating Finance Vehicle (PFV), while disbursement to
beneficiaries was to be through Participating Financial Institutions (PFIs).
However, the Governor set up a one-man PFV represented by Esther
Yange and after accessing the N2billion, transferred only N1billion to the
PFIs (micro-finance banks) for onward lending to MSMEs. The sum
ofN1,000,000,000.00 was thereafter, diverted into government account
and purportedly disbursed to MDAs as follows:
i. Bureau for Internal Affairs and Special Services – N470,000,000.00
ii. Benue State University Salaries – N309,212,590.00
iii. Benue State House of Assembly – N72,790,000.00
iv. Ministry of Finance – N167,000,000.00
v. Deputy Governor’s office – N6,333,495.00
vi. Government House Makurdi – N3, 504,000.00
vii. BOARCH overhead – N500, 000.00
viii. BSSTEB overhead – N500, 000.00
5. Proceeds of sale of shares, enterprises and leases
50
a. The amount of N1billion paid into BIPC account was used by the
Company for the:
i. Construction of a Hotel in North-Bank, Makurdi,
ii. Construction of a plaza at One Man Village, Nasarawa State
and
iii. Development of an Estate at Mabushi Abuja.
b. It was also found that apart from the Hotel in North-Bank which is
about 90% completed, none of the other projects for which the
N1Billion was funded has reached a 35% completion level, thereby
necessitating a more detailed investigation into the application and
utilisation of the amount by BIPC.
c. The N5.3billion paid into the account of Benue State Ministry of
Finance was misappropriated in the following manner:
i. The sum of N534,700,000.00 was immediately withdrawn
cash and disbursed as follows:
a) Hon. Omadachi Oklobia (N243,000,000.00)
b) Mr. Peter Ochoga (on behalf of the Governor, Dr. Gabriel
Suswam (N100million).
c) Mr. Fergus Manger (N120million).
d) Mrs. Ruth Ijir (N42million).
e) UBA Capital (N29.7million).
51
ii. The sum of N355,931,979.00 transferred to BIPC was
immediately moved into the Zenith Bank account of San
Carlos Benue Farms Ltd from where it was again quickly
withdrawn entirely by the M.D. of BIPC,Mrs. Brigid Shiedu
and the Company Secretary, Barr. John Tyokegh.This
amount purportedly represented 40% equity contribution by
the Benue State Government for the establishment of the San
Carlos Green House project at Howe in Gwer Local
Government Area of Benue State. San Carlos Capital was to
contribute 60% equity share. However, the entire transaction
was found to be a fraud as:
a. San Carlos Capital has not made any contribution to the
project upto date.
b. The above amount which was meant for the importation
of equipment from Mexico for the San Carlos Green
House project was never transferred to Mexico but was
withdrawn and embezzled.
c. There is no Mexican connection whatsoever in this
transaction.No work had been done at the site of the said
project and no equipment had been supplied.
52
d. A Certificate of Occupancy in the name of San Carlos
Benue Farms Ltd has already been issued over the site and
is in possession of San Carlos Capital Partners.
iii. The San Carlos Benue Farms Ltd is owned by Dr. Gabriel Suswam
through Ashi Integrated Farms Ltd (60%) and purportedly BIPC
(40%). Curiously records show that the BIPC representatives on the
Board are Mr. Joseph Tsavsar (Joe K) and Barr. Wilson Eryum
Tingir who are blood brothers to Dr. Gabriel Suswam, and have no
relationship with BIPC. Meanwhile, the shareholding structure of
Ashi Integrated Farms Ltd is Dr. Gabriel Suswam (40%) and his two
sons Terna Suswam (30%) and Shimater Suswam (30%). The
implication is that the San Carlos Benue Farms Ltd is wholly owned
by Dr. Gabriel Suswam.
iv. The balance of N4,410,068,012.10 was entirely remitted out by the
then Accountant-General, Mr. Joseph Kpaakpa via “verbal
approvals” to the Ministry of Finance, Bureau of Internal Affairs
and Special Services and Government House where the amount
were withdrawn cash and misapplied.
l. Procurement and Lease of vehicles
i. Between 2008 and 2009, the Ministry of Finance procured 100No
commercial taxis (Peugeot Partner) which were distributed to
various beneficiaries on hire-purchase basis. Repayment for the
53
taxis by the beneficiaries was found to be poor. Full repayment was
supposed to have been made within 5 years, but there are high
outstandings 6 years after.
ii. Again in October 2010, the Ministry of Finance procured 25 Taxis
through the Lobi Leasing Company Ltd and distributed them on
hire-purchase. Repayment has been poor with huge outstandings to
date even when the transaction tenure has expired.
iii. In addition, 12 taxis were procured in 2014 under the phase 3 of
the taxi scheme and distributed on hire-purchase to beneficiaries.
This scheme has also recorded poor repayment by beneficiaries.
iv. The State Government through the Ministry of Agriculture
procured 148 tractors from TAK Continental Ltd at the cost of
N1,076,800,000.00 (One billion, seventy six million eight hundred
thousand). These were also leased out to individuals at the rate of
N5,110,000.00 per tractor after an initial deposit of
N1,533,000.00. The balance of N3,577,000.00 was required to be
paid out within 5years. This Scheme has also recorded poor
repayment.
v. Various vehicles were procured by the Ministry of Finance under
the Transport Scheme of the SURE-P at the total cost of
N314,400,000.00. Among the vehicles were 26 buses purchased at
a total cost of N127,500,000.00. These were distributed as follows:
54
i. 12Nos to Pleasure Travels, Makurdi
ii. 2Nos to Abbas Cooperate Service, Makurdi
iii. 6Nos to Ejifa Transport Service, Makurdi
iv. 1No to Junas Mac Continental, Makurdi
v. 1No to Rock Haven Services, Makurdi
vi. 1No to Diba Company Ltd., Makurdi
vii. 1No to Luter AS Enterprises, Makurdi
viii. 1No to Jibo Titus, Makurdi
This Scheme hasbeen poorly managed and repayment has been
poor.
m. The Commission found that various corrupt practices had been
carefully perfected at the State Universal Basic Education Board
(SUBEB). This has led to indiscriminate deduction of salaries of
teachers, salary padding, prevalence of ghost workers and ghost
schools. These acts have created untold hardships for teachers and a
demotivated workforce at the Primary education level, leading to
poor quality of primary education in the State.
n. Memoranda were received from Higher Institutions in the State, i.e
Colleges of Education Katsina Ala and Oju respectively; Benue
State Polytechnic Ugbokolo, Akperan Orshi College of Agriculture
Yandev and College of Advanced and Professional Studies
55
Makurdi. These Institutions were found to generate significant
revenues which were not properly accounted for.
10.2 Observations
The Commission observed that:
a. The 15% total revenue expended on capital projects during the
period was too low.
b. There was poor planning, execution and monitoring of capital
projects. This was apparently designed to facilitate the irregularities
noted.
c. The defective and compromised payroll system resulted in payment
to ghost workers and exclusion of some genuine workers from the
payroll.
d. Salary figures continued to rise yearly despite the ban on
employment which was in force within the period.
e. When MDAs collect and spend revenues directlyi.
They commit an act of misappropriation
ii. The amount of revenue available to government is reduced.
iii. The potential share of the State from the Federation Account
is reduced as one of the indices for revenue allocation is
revenue effort measured by IGR.
f. The expenditure on security during the period was on the high side.
56
g. Funds were being misappropriated under the guise of security by the
Ministry of Finance, Accountant-General’s Office, Bureau of
Internal Affairs and Special Services, Government House and Local
Government Councils.
h. The diversion of the SURE-P funds was illegal
i. The issuance of the two bonds was characterized by irregularities:
i. Due process was not followed in the conduct of floating both
bonds while there was absolute lack of transparency in the
utilization of the proceeds therefrom.
ii. The former Governor was required to forward to the Benue
State House of Assembly (BNHOA) and Securities and
Exchange Commission (SEC) the audited accounts of the
State Government as a critical requirement for perfecting the
issuance of the bonds but this document was neither prepared
nor tendered to the regulatory bodies. Moreover, the former
Governor was legally required to submit a schedule of
milestones for specific projects to be funded from the bonds
proceeds to SEC but this was never done.
iii. The ISPO against the Federal Allocation to the State places a
great burden on the future finances of the State.
iv. The issuance of an ISPO raises doubts as to whether it was a
bond or a long term loan.
57
v. Conflicting information regarding the date of issuance,
amount of the bond and the bond proceeds of the last bond
further confirms the irregularities associated with this bond.
vi. The purported cost of issuing the last bond was unreasonably
high representing 19.3% of the amount to be raised by the
bond as the rate normally ranges between 3% and 5%.
j. The Commission appreciates that the 23 Local Government Areas
in the State are constitutionally created and their Administration
constitutionally guaranteed under section 7 of the Constitution of
the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended). Strangely the
Bureau has been exacting managerial control over these Local
Government Councils especially in their financial independence
beyond the provisions of the Local Government Law and Joint
Account and Allocation Law. The Bureau virtually relates with the
Local Government Councils like her viceroy or departments making
direct deductions from their respective allocations for virtually
everything including repairs of Council electricity generating sets,
printing of calendars, purchases of rice etc, thereby crippling their
relative independence.
10.3 Recommendation
The Commission recommends as follows:
58
10.3.1 Government should take deliberate steps to reduce the cost of
governance and waste associated with observed high cost of recurrent
expenditure.
10.3.2 Comment
Government notes the recommendation.
10.3.3 Recommendation
The e-payment payroll system currently in use should be enhanced
with effective control mechanisms that will prevent and detect acts of
abuse and/or manipulations.
10.3.4 Comment
Government notes the recommendation.
10.3.5 Recommendation
The on-going screening and bio-metric verification exercise should be
executed thoroughly to eliminate ghost workers and capture genuine
ones. This exercise should be extended to all MDAs particularly the
State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB).
10.3.6 Comment
Government notes the recommendation.
10.3.7 Recommendation
59
Government should endeavour to release overhead allocations
regularly and timely to MDAs.
10.3.8 Comment
Government accepts the recommendation and observes that the absence of
overhead allocation to Ministries/Departments/Agencies (MDAs) stalls
Government business.
10.3.9 Recommendation
All revenues collected by MDAs should be promptly paid into the
Single Treasury Account. Special concession should, however, be
given to agencies which depend on the revenue they generate for their
daily operations (e.g. hospitals).
10.3.10 Comment
Government notes the recommendation.
10.3.11 Recommendation
The terms and conditions of the appointment of the Executive
Chairman of BIRS should be the same with that of other Chairmen
of the other Boards and parastatals in the State. The incentives
bonuses on revenue generated by BIRS beyond an agreed
benchmark should be shared among all the staff and not the
Executive Chairman alone. The calculation should be based on
actual revenues collected and not paper IGR. The Executive
60
Chairman should not act simultaneously as a Consultant to the
Board.
10.3.12 Comment
Government accepts the recommendation.
10.3.13 Recommendation
Government should observe the existing laws and regulations on
cash transactions.
10.3.14 Comment
Government notes the recommendation.
10.3.15 Recommendation
Monies meant for security should come through the Bureau of
Internal Affairs and Special Services only, which has the vote for
security. There should be a limit on the amount spent on security
for every month except where there are special circumstances to
exceed the said limit.
10.3.16 Comment
Government notes the recommendation.
10.3.17 Recommendation
Specialized funds should be strictly applied for the purpose
earmarked.
10.3.18 Comment
Government notes the recommendation.
61
10.3.19 Recommendation
The Accountant-General should ensure that all remittances are
supported by proper approvals.
10.3.20 Comment
Government notes the recommendation.
10.3.21 Recommendation
Due process should be observed in the award and execution of all
contracts.
10.3.22 Comment
Government notes the recommendation.
10.3.23 Recommendation
Government should devise effective strategies to ensure that loans
and leases are properly managed and recoveries/payments made as
at when due.
10.3.24 Comment
Government accepts the recommendation and directs the Ministry of
Finance and the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment to evolve such
effective strategies.
10.3.25 Recommendation
62
The new management of BIPC should immediately carry out a
detailed investigation into the utilization of the N1Billion proceeds
of shares retained in the Company.
10.3.26 Comment
Government accepts the recommendation.
10.3.27 Recommendation
The constitutionality of the Local Government system and their
administration guaranteed by the Constitution should be respected.
The exacting financial control of the Bureau over the Local
Government Councils and chairmen should abate and their
independence be honored.Local Government as the third tier of
government in Nigeria should be allowed to enjoy the freedom of
action to enable it perform its constitutional functions unfettered
and energise sustainable development from the grassroots but
recognizing that they do not have absolute autonomy.The Bureau
should resist direct control of the LGAs but assist in areas where the
Local Governments are lacking professional competence and render
technical assistance to them.
10.3.28 Comment
Government notes the recommendation.
10.3.29 Recommendation
63
The Commission recommends the immediate introduction and
issuance of Personal Subhead Numbers (PSN) to all Local
Government staff including teachers and staff of SUBEB to check
and block salaries padding and leakages.
10.3.30 Comment
Government accepts the recommendation and directs that necessary steps be
taken to forward a Bill to the Benue State House of Assembly for
amendment of the Local Government Law in the State to accommodate
issuance of Personal Sub-Head Numbers to all Local Government Staff
including teachers.
10.3.31 Recommendation
There should be immediate integrity evaluation of the staff in the
accounts departments of SUBEB and the LGEAs followed by a
general reshuffling.
10.3.32 Comment
Government accepts the recommendation and directs the Ministry of
Education, Science and Technology to implement.
10.3.33 Recommendation
Government should ensure that it sends visitation panels to all
tertiary institutions as stipulated by the law establishing them.
64
10.3.34 Comment
Government notes the recommendation.
65
Chapter Eleven
11.0 TERM OF REFERENCE X:
Establish Misappropriation (if any), and identify the person or
persons involved.
Findings
11.1 The Commission found that the entire budgetary provisions were
constantly jettisoned during the life of the administration.
Consequently, several cases of misappropriation were established by
the Commission.
Specific cases of misappropriation, persons involved and the basis of
the Commission’s conclusions are detailed below:
11.1.1 Illegal deductions of Local Government funds – Local Government
funds were by law required to be shared to statutory bodies in the
following manner: Primary School Teachers (43%), Local Government
Pension (15%), Local Government Councils Personnel emoluments,
Training funds for Local Government Service Commission (1% of
Local Government’s statutory allocation), funds for services common
to all Local Governments Councils, funds for servicing of Joint
Account (1% of statutory allocation). Other intervening funds such as
VAT, Excess Crude, Budget Augmentation, were to be applied as
counterpart funds for Joint Agricultural and Infrastructural
66
Development Projects by the State Government. Any other deduction
required to be deliberated upon and approved at JAAC meetings.
Before the said JAAC meetings, the Commission further found that
Governor Gabriel Suswam was said to have vetted and approved all
proposals for deductions and payment on the spreadsheet for JAAC
allocation. However, the Bureau between 2010 and May, 2015 under
Messrs Samuel Ode and Solomon Wombo as Special Advisers, Messrs
Emmanuel Atini and Asen Sambe as Permanent Secretaries and Mr.
Isaiah Ipevnor as the Accountant, made several deductions from the
Local Government funds that were neither in line with the law nor
approved by JAAC as such observed deductions were never mentioned
anywhere in the minutes of the JAAC meetings for the period. These
deductions were made and payments purportedly made to various
MDAs, corporate bodies, lawyers and individuals amounting to billions
of Naira.
11.1.2 Observations
The Benue State/Local Government Joint Account (JAAC) is supposed
to be a zero balance account. After each meeting the entire amount
standing to the credit of the account should be shared to the statutory
and authorized beneficiaries. This was however not the case in the
operation of the account within the period under review. Credit and
debit balances were observed in the account throughout the period.
67
Persons Involved Basis of Conclusions
Dr. Gabriel Suswam
Hon. Solomon Wombo
Hon. Emmanuel Atini
Mr. Asen Sambe
Mr. Isaiah Ipevnor
Refer to:
CW19 in vol.1 . Exhibit 131
CW70 in vol.1 . Exhibit 327
CW71 in vol.1
CW56 in vol.1
CW51 in vol.1.
11.1.3 Recommendation
a. All deductions from the JAAC must be in accordance with the law.
b. Any other deduction should be deliberated upon and approved at
the JAAC meetings. And such deductions must be supported by the
individual Local Government Council resolution.
11.1.4 Comment
Government notes the recommendations in paragraph 11.1.3 (a&b).
11.2 It was also found that amounts contained in the monthly JAAC Schedule
of payments for Local Governments were eventually not paid to the Local
Government Councils as there were huge discrepancies between JAACagreed
amounts per Local Government Councils as contained in the
monthly JAAC payment schedule and the actual amounts which were
paid to the respective accounts of the Local Governments as contained in
the bank payment schedules. This shortfall amounted to
N51,559,859,968.40 between January 2010 and May 2015 as shown in
Table 5 of this report.
68
Meanwhile, huge cash withdrawals amounting to over N43billion of Local
Government Councils were made from the Local Government Joint
Account (JAAC) 2017241513 domiciled with First Bank almost on a daily
basis as contained in Table 2 of this report. In most of these transactions,
the payee (Detso, Agbo or Ndera) simply endorsed the cheques and
submitted them at the bank as if payment had been made and returned to
their offices without collecting the cash. Thereafter, an unknown person
would come to the Bank and collect the cash at the instruction of the
Accountant, Mr. Isaiah Ipevnor. There is no evidence that these
withdrawals were used for Government purposes.
Persons Involved Basis for conclusions
Dr. Gabriel Suswam
Hon. Solomon Wombo
Hon. Emmanuel Atini
Mr. Asen Sambe
Mr. Isaiah Ipevnor
Refer to:
CW19 in vol.1
CW70 in vol.1
CW71 in vol.1
CW56 in vol.1
CW51 in vol.1
CW54 in vol.1
Exhibit 131
Exhibit 327
Table 5 of this report
Exhibit 134 (appendix 1&2)
Table 2 of this report
69
11.2.1 Recommendation
The following named persons should jointly and severally refund the
entire N51,559,859,968.40(fifty-one billion, five hundred and fifty-nine
million, eight hundred and fifty-nine thousand, nine hundred and sixtyeight
naira, forty kobo)to the State Government: Dr. Gabriel Suswam,
Hon. Solomon Wombo, Mr. Emmanel Atini, Mr. Asen Sambe and Mr.
Isaiah Ipevnor.
11.2.2 Comment
Government accepts the recommendation and further directs that Dr. Gabriel
Suswam, Hon. Solomon Wombo, Mr. Emmanuel Atini, Mr. Asen Sambe be
prosecuted, Mr. Isaiah Ipevnor be dismissed from the Civil Service and
prosecuted.
11.2.3 Recommendation
Moses Detso, Agbo O. Agbo and Moses Ndera should not be assigned
any responsibility in government involving finance.
11.2.4 Comments
Government rejects the recommendation in paragraph 11.2.3. Government
directs that Moses Detso, Agbo O. Agbo and Moses Ndera be dismissed from
the Civil Service as their continued stay will pollute the service.
70
11.3 Illegal deductions of Local Government funds for payment into
ALGON account - At the JAAC meeting of July 2009, a standing
monthly deduction of N2million from each local government council
amounting to N46million monthly was approved by the JAAC.
However, some excess deductions were illegally made and paid into
ALGON account for cash withdrawals which have not been accounted
for. The deductions paid into ALGON account amounted to
N4,230,953,000.00 (four billion, two hundred and thirty million,
nine hundred and fifty-three thousand naira) between July 2009 and
May 2015.
Table 11.1 shows details of authorized and unauthorized withdrawals
by the various operators of the ALGON account.
NAME OF
OPERATORS
TRANSACTION
PERIOD
ACTUAL
TOTAL
WITHDRAWAL
(N)
AMT
APPROVED
BY JAAC (N)
UNAUTHOR
I-ZED
WITHDRAW
AL (N)
1. Hon. Augustine
Avaan
2. Mrs. Owakoyi
Eghiaruwa
08/5/09 -
2/2/11
1,440,516,000 732,000,000 708,516,000
1. Hon. David Sevav
2. Hon. Andrew
Ayande
3. Dr. Innocent Onuh
2/2/11 -
26/5/12
1,510,100,000 552,000,000 958,500,000
1. Hon Iyoryue Yajir
2. Hon. Terfa Bossua
26/5/12 -
5/12/12
538,996,000 0.00 538,996,000
71
NAME OF
OPERATORS
TRANSACTION
PERIOD
ACTUAL
TOTAL
WITHDRAWAL
(N)
AMT
APPROVED
BY JAAC (N)
UNAUTHOR
I-ZED
WITHDRAW
AL (N)
1. Hon. Kester Ikyenge
2. Alex Ogaba
05/12/12
- 13/4/15
2,036,720,000 322,000,000 1,714,720,000
1. Jonathan Torkuma
Kunde
2. Yina Terzungwe
Samuel
14/1/15 -
19/5/15
248,821,000 0.00 248,821,000
1. Donald Kertyo
2. Sunday Mark Eche
20/5/15 -
27/5/15
153,400,000 0.00 153,400,000
TOTAL 5,928,553,000 1,927,600,000 4,230,953,000
All these amounts were withdrawn cash and taken away without
accountability.
a) It is worthy of note that even the N46million approved monthly
payment to ALGON was simply misapplied principally by the
Special Adviser and some Chairmen of ALGON.
b) Curiously, aggressive withdrawals were observed on the bank
account of ALGON at the twilight of the past administration
including a sweeping transfer of N20million from the account to
one M/S Ralista Ventures for an unknown purpose by Donald
Kertyo and Sunday Mark Eche.
c) The Special Adviser was totally in charge of the ALGON account
especially during caretaker dispensation. During the caretaker
dispensation, ALGON did not function as an association.
72
Signatories to the account were appointed by the Special Adviser,
Mr. Solomon Wombo and acted as his agents.
Persons Involved Basis for Conclusions
Hon. Solomon Wombo
Mr. Emmanuel Atini
Mr. Asen Sambe
Mr. Isaiah Ipevnor
Hon. Kester Ikyenge
Hon. David Sevav
Mrs. Owakoyi Eghiaruwa
Dr. Innocent Onuh
Hon. Iyoryue Yajir
Mr. Yina Samuel Terzungwe
Mr. Donald Kertyo
Mr. Sunday Mark Eche
Refer to:
CW19 in vol.1
CW70 in vol.1
CW71 in vol.1
CW56 in vol.1
CW83 in vol.1
CW84 in vol.1
CW86 in vol. 1
CW66 in vol. 1
CW105 in vol. 1
CW106 in vol. 1
CW107 in vol. 1 . Exhibit 131
Exhibit 327 . Exhibit 353
Exhibit 353A . Exhibit 390
Exhibit 390A . Exhibit 390B
11.3.1 Recommendation
ALGON is not synonymous with Local Government Councils.
Therefore its activities should not be funded from JAAC.
11.3.1.1 Comment
73
Government accepts the recommendation and further directs the Bureau of
Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs to ensure prompt
implementation.
11.3.1.2 Recommendation
The standing order for the monthly deduction of N2million from
each Local Government Council for payment to ALGON should be
revoked immediately.
11.3.1.3 Comment
Government accepts the recommendation.
11.3.1.4 Recommendation
Messrs Solomon Wombo, Emmanuel Atini, Isaiah Ipevnor and Mrs.
Owakoyi Eghiaruwa should jointly and severally refund
N708,516,000.00. (seven hundred and eight million, five hundred
and sixteen thousand naira)
11.3.1.5 Comment
Government accepts the recommendation and further directs that Solomon
Wombo, Emmanuel Atini, Isaiah Ipevnor and Mrs Owakoyi Eghiaruwa be
prosecuted.
11.3.1.6 Recommendation
Messrs Solomon Wombo, Emmanuel Atini, Isaiah Ipevnor, David
Sevav and Dr. Innocent Onuh should jointly and severally refund
74
N958,500,000.00 (nine hundred and fifty-eight million, five
hundred thousand naira).
11.3.1.7 Comment.
Government accepts the recommendation.
11.3.1.8 Recommendation
Messrs Solomon Wombo, Asen Sambe, Isaiah Ipevnor and Iyoryue
Yajir should jointly and severally refund the sum of
N538,996,000.00 (five hundred and thirty-eight million, nine
hundred and ninety six thousand naira)
11.3.1.9 Comment
Government accepts the recommendation.
11.3.1.10 Recommendation
Messrs Solomo Wombo, Asen Sambe, Isaiah Ipevnor and Hon.
Kester Ikyenge should jointly and severally refund
N1,714,720,000.00 (one billion, seven hundred and fourteen
million, seven hundred and twenty thousand naira).
11.3.1.11 Comment
Government accepts the recommendation and further directs that Solomon
Wombo, Asen Sambe, Hon. Kester Ikyenge be prosecuted, Isaiah Ipevnor be
dismissed from the Civil Sevice and prosecuted.
75
11.3.1.12 Recommendation
Messrs Solomon Wombo, Asen Sambe, Isaiah Ipevnor and Yina
Samuel Terzungwe should jointly and severally refund the sum of
N248,821,000.00 (two hundred and forty-eight million, eight
hundred and twenty-one thousand naira).
11.3.1.13 Comment
Government accepts the recommendation and further directs that Solomon
Wombo, Asen Sambe be prosecuted, Isaiah Ipevnor and Yina Samuel
Terzungwe be dismissed from the Civil Service and prosecuted.
11.3.1.14 Recommendation
Messrs Solomon Wombo, Asen Sambe, Isaiah Ipevnor, Donald
Kertyo and Sunday Mark Eche should jointly and severally refund
the sum of N153,400,000.00(one hundred and fifty-three million,
four hundred thousand naira) withdrawn within 5 days (between
22nd- 27th May, 2015).
11.3.1.15 Comment
Government accepts the recommendation and directs that Solomon Wombo,
Asen Sambe be prosecuted, Isaiah Ipevnor, Donald Kertyo and Sunday
Mark Eche be dismissed from the Civil Service and prosecuted.
11.4 Illegal deduction of N157,070,149.00 paid to Ameh Tech Ltd. This
amount was deducted from Local Government funds and paid to Ameh
76
Tech Ltd between 2011 and 2014 for servicing of generators without
approval. In-fact there was no mention of Ameh Tech in the entire
minutes of JAAC meetings for the whole period to warrant any payment
and some Local Government Chairmen claimed ignorance of Ameh Tech
servicing generating sets in their Local Government Councils. The
agreement for the servicing of the generating sets was between Ameh
Tech and the Bureau.
Persons Involved Basis for Conclusions
Hon. Solomon Wombo
Mr. Emmanuel Atini
Mr. Asen Sambe
Mr. Ameh Agbo – (MD Ameh Tech Ltd)
Refer to:
CW19 in vol.1
CW70 in vol.1
CW71 in vol.1
CW56 in vol.1
CW78 in vol.1
Exhibit 131
Exhibit 327
Exhibit 328B
Exhibit 308
Exhibit 308A
11.4.1 Recommendation
The agreement for the servicing of the generating sets entered into with
Ameh Tech Ltd should be terminated.
77
11.4.2 Comment
Government accepts the recommendation and directs the Bureau of Local
Government and Chieftaincy Affairs to terminate.
11.4.3 Recommendation
Messrs Solomon Wombo, Emmanuel Atini, Ameh Agbo, Asen Sambe
and Ameh Tech Ltd should jointly and severally refund the sum of
N157,070,149.00 (one hundred and fifty seven million, seventy
thousand, one hundred and forty nine naira).
11.4.4 Comment
Government accepts the recommendation and further directs that Ameh Tech. Ltd
and Ameh Agbo should no longer do business with the Government of Benue State
as they are hereby blacklisted.
11.5 Deductions in favour of Ministry of Justice not paid to the Ministry – A
total of N232,050,000.00 was deducted from Local Government funds
between 2007 and May 2015. However, only N20million was paid to the
Ministry. The difference of N212,050,000.00 was unaccounted for.
Persons Involved Basis for Conclusions
Hon. Solomon Wombo
Mr. Emmanuel Atini
Mr. Asen Sambe
Mr. Isaiah Ipevnor
Refer to:
CW19 in vol.1
CW71 in vol.1
CW70 in vol.1
78
Persons Involved Basis for Conclusions
CW56 in vol.1
CW36 in vol.1
Exhibit 131
Exhibit 327
11.5.1 Recommendation:
Messrs Solomon Wombo, Emmanuel Atini, Asen Sambe and Isaiah
Ipevnor should jointly and severally refund the sum of
N212,050,000.00 (two hundred and twelve million, fifty thousand
naira).
11.5.2 Comment
Government accepts the recommendation and further directs that Solomon
Wombo, Emmanuel Atini, Asen Sambe be prosecuted, Isaiah Ipevnor be
dismissed from the Civil Service and prosecuted.
11.6 Illegal deduction of Local Government funds for payment to Ashi
Foods Ltd. – The Commission found that the Special Adviser to the
Governor on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Hon.
Solomon Wombo, approved the deduction and subsequent payment to
Ashi Foods Ltd the sum of N50,000,000.00 on 6/12/2011 for an
unspecified purpose. Meanwhile, Ashi Foods was never anywhere
mentioned in JAAC meetings. It was also found that Ashi Foods Ltd is
79
owned by Dr. Gabriel Suswam through proxy. His proxies are Shima
Agya (his son) and Terna Agya (his son), both minors.
Persons Involved Basis for Conclusions
Dr. Gabriel Suswam
Hon. Solomon Wombo
Ashi Foods Ltd
Refer to:
Exhibit 324
Exhibit 328
Exhibit 328B
Exhibit 373B
CW89 in vol. 1
CW71 in vol. 1
11.6.1 Recommendation:
a. Dr. Gabriel Suswam, Ashi Foods Ltd and Hon. Solomon Wombo,
should jointly and severally refund the sum of N50,000,000.00 (fifty
million naira).
11.6.2 Comment
Government accepts the recommendation and further directs that Dr. Gabriel
Suswam, Ashi Foods ltd and Hon. Solomon Wombo be prosecuted.
11.7 Local Government SURE-P Funds – A total of N6,472,191,797.84 was
received by the Bureau for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs as
SURE-P funds for Local Government Councils. However, only
N2,596,162,422.32 was paid to the Local Governments Councils for
80
various unrelated expenditures. The difference of N3,876,029,376.00
was misappropriated as the account showed a zero balance as at May 29,
2015.
Persons Involved Basis for Conclusion
Dr. Gabriel Suswam
Hon. Solomon Wombo
Mr. Asen Sambe
Mr. Isiah Ipevnor
Refer to:
CW19 in vol.1
CW70 in vol.1
CW71 in vol.1
CW 56 in vol.1
Exhibit 134 (appendix 1)
Exhibit 325
Exhibit 131
11.7.1 Recommendation
b. Dr. Gabriel Suswam, Messrs Solomon Wombo, Asen Sambe and
Isaiah Ipevnor should jointly and severally refund the sum of
N3,876,029,376.00 (three billion, eight hundred and seventy six
million, twenty nine thousand, three hundred and seventy six naira).
11.7.2 Comment
Government accepts the recommendation and further directs that Dr.
Gabriel Suswam, Solomon Wombo, Asen Sambe be prosecuted, Isaiah Ipevnor be
dismissed from the Civil Service and prosecuted.
81
11.8 Sale of Government stocks under BIPC Management- The Benue State
Government had stocks worth N25.2billion as at July 2014. The entire
portfolio was handed over by BIPC to the management of Elixir Securities
Ltd. However, within 3 months, Elixir had sold some of the shares and
declared N9,411,100,000.00. This was paid into various accounts as
follows:
a. Ministry of Finance Exp. a/c N5,300,000,000.00
b. Fanfash Resources (BDC)- N3,111,000,000.00
c. BIPC N1,000,000,000.00
Persons Involved Basis for Conclusions
Dr. Gabriel Suswam
Hon. Omadachi Oklobia
Mrs. Brigid Shiedu
Refer to:
CW6 in vol.1
CW2 in vol.1
CW34 in vol.1
CW82 in vol.1
CW47 in vol.1
Exhibit 44
Exhibit 44A
Exhibit 44B
Exhibit 44C
Exhibit 44D
82
However, Elixir Securities further said that by October 2014 only about
N10billion worth of stocks were left after the divestment. The
difference of about N5.8billionis attributed to loss of value in the stock
market.
The sale did not follow due process as the mandatory approval of the
State House of Assembly was neither sought nor obtained and the
Benue State Executive Council (EXCO)did not authorise the sale. The
declared sales proceeds were spent entirely without appropriation and
the amount of N3.11billion paid into Fanfash Resources account was
converted into foreign exchange and given toformer Governor Gabriel
Suswam.
11.8.1 Recommendations
a. The new management at BIPC should take urgent steps to verify the
actual amount realised from the divestment exercise of 2014.
Exhibit 44E
Exhibit 45
Exhibit 45A
Exhibit 36
Exhibit 201
Exhibit 201A
83
b. Dr. Gabriel Suswam, Hon Omadachi Oklobia and Mrs. Brigid Shiedu
should jointly and severally refund the sum of N3,111,000,000.00
(three billion one hundred and eleven million naira) paid into the
account of Fanfash Resources.
11.8.2 Comment
Government accepts the recommendations in paragraph 11.8.1 (a&b) and
further directs that Dr. Gabriel Suswam and Hon. Omadachi Oklobia be
prosecuted, Mrs Brigid Shiedu be dismissed and prosecuted.
11.8 Illegal payment of N355,931,979.00 into the accounts of San Carlos
Benue Farms Ltd and immediate withdrawal of same. Out of the
proceeds of the sale of shares, an amount of N355,931,979.00 was
transferred by Ministry of Finance to BIPC for onward payment into the
account of San Carlos Benue Farms Ltd. Consequently, the account was
credited by BIPC and the entire amount was again withdrawn immediately
by the signatories to the account of San Carlos Benue Farms Ltd, Mrs.
Brigid Shiedu and Barr. John Tyokegh without accountability. San Carlos
Benue Farms Ltd was found to be owned by Dr. Gabriel Suswam whose
aides and relations, Mr. Joseph Tsavsar and Barr. Eryum Tingir,
represented BIPC on the Board of the Company even when they had no
relationship with BIPC.
84
Persons Involved Basis of Conclusions
Dr.Gabriel Suswam
Hon. Omadachi Oklobia
Mrs. Brigid Shiedu
Bar. John Tyokegh
Mr. Joseph Tsavsar (Joe K)
Barr. Eryum Tingir
Mr. Obiora Ogwo – (MD SanCarlos
Partners)
SanCarlos Benue Farms Ltd.
Refer to:
CW6 in vol.1
CW47 in vol.1
CW82 in vol.1 . Exhibit 307
Exhibit 46 . Exhibit 46A
Exhibit 46B . Exhibit 46C
Exhibit 46D . Exhibit 47
Exhibit 48 . Exhibit 49
Exhibit 49A . Exhibit 49B
Exhibit 49C . Exhibit 49D
Exhibit 49E . Exhibit 306
11.9.1 Recommendation
a. Dr. Gabriel Suswam, Hon. Omadachi Oklobia, Mrs. Brigid Shiedu,
Barr. John Tyokegh, Mr. Joseph Tsavsar (Joe K), Barr. Eryum Tingir,
San Carlos Benue Farms Ltd and Mr. Obiora Ogwo (MD San
Carlos Partners) should jointly and severally refund
N355,931,979.00 (three hundred and fifty five million, nine
hundred and thirty one thousand, nine hundred and seventy-nine
naira).
11.9.2 Comment
Government accepts the recommendation and further directs that Dr. Gabriel
Suswam, Omadachi Oklobia, Mrs. Brigid Shiedu, Barr. John Tyokegh, Mr.
85
Joseph Tsavsar (Joe K), Barr. Eryum Tingir, San Carlos Farms Ltd and Obiora
Ogwu (Md San Carlos Partners) be prosecuted.
11.10 Disbursement of N8,850,000.00 (eight million, eight hundred and
fifty thousand naira) into the account of Barr. John Tyokegh,
Company Secretary BIPC. This amount was approved in favour of the
representative of John Holt Plc but was paid into the account of Barr.
John Tyokegh. Moreover, he was unable to account for the amount.
Persons Involved Basis for Conclusions
Barr. John Tyokegh
Refer to:
CW6 in vol.1
CW47 in vol.1
Exhibit 129
Exhibit 37
Exhibit 37A
Exhibit 37B
Exhibit 37C
Exhibit 37D
Exhibit 37E
11.10.1 Recommendation
Barr. John Tyokegh should account for the sum of N8,850,000.00
(eight million, eight hundred and fifty thousand naira) paid into his
account.
86
11.10.2 Comment
Government accepts the recommendation and further directs that Barr. John
Tyokegh be relieved of his appointment as Company Secretary of the BIPC and
be further prosecuted.
11.11 Payment of over N7,000,000.00 to M/S Dankeji Nig. Ltd for supply
of Diesel for BIPC Oil and Gas – This payment was made in July 2013
to one Musa Dankeji. He was introduced to BIPC Oil and Gas by Barr.
John Tyokegh. To date, the product has not been supplied.
Persons Involved Basis of Conclusions
Barr. John Tyokegh
Musa Dankeji
Dankeji Nig. Ltd
Refer to:
CW69 in vol.1
11.11.1 Recommendation
Barr. John Tyokegh, Musa Dankeji and M/S Dankeji Nig. Ltd should
jointly and severally refund N7,000,000.00 (seven million naira only).
11.11.2 Comment
Government accepts the recommendation and further directs that Barr. John
Tyokegh, Musa Dankeji and M/S Dankeji Nig. Ltd be prosecuted.
11.12 Procurement of 2No Trucks for BIPC Oil and Gas at the cost of
N36,000,000.00. The amounts of N19,000,000.00 and N17,000,000.00
were paid to Barr. John Tyokegh, the Company Secretary of BIPC, to
87
procure the first and second trucks for the BIPC Filling Station
respectively in 2014. The cost of the trucks was found to have been
highly inflated as an average truck of the same value cost between
N5.5million and N7.0million then. Moreover, due process was not
followed in the transactions.
Persons Involved Basis of Conclusions
Mrs. Brigid Shiedu
Barr. John Tyokegh
Refer to:
CW69 in vol.1
11.12.1 Recommendation
The actual value of the 2 trucks at the material time should be
ascertained and the difference, if any, should be refunded by Mrs.
Brigid Shiedu and Barr. John Tyokegh.
11.12.2 Comment
Government accepts the recommendation and further directs that the new
Management of Benue Investment and Property Company (BIPC) to
implement.
11.13 Payment of N914,000,000.00 to Ministry of Finance as “Cost of
Bond Issue”. The above transaction was approved by Benue State
Executive Council (EXCO) and the entire amount was withdrawn in
cash by the Ministry of Finance and disbursed by Hon. Omadachi
88
Oklobia. In addition, N40,960,000.00 was paid to UBA Capital for
preliminary work on the bond issue.
11.13.1 Observation
a. The cost of issuing a bond is normally deducted up front from
the proceeds of the bond.
b. Payments to issuing houses are through cheques or transfers
and not made in cash.
c. The amount involved is too high as the cost of issuing a bond
of N4.95 billion should be between N148,500,000 and
N247,5000,000, that is, between 3% and 5%.
d. The sum of N914million was not used for floating the bond as
the amount received by government as proceeds from the bond
was only N4.55billion indicating that the cost of issuing the
bond had been deducted upfront.
Persons Involved Basis for Conclusions
Dr. Gabriel Suswam
Hon. Omadachi Oklobia
CW1 in vol.1
Exhibit 8
11.13.2 Recommendation
Dr. Gabriel Suswam and Hon. Omadachi Oklobia should jointly
and severally refund N914,000,000.00 (nine hundred and fourteen
million naira only).
89
11.13.3 Comment
Government accepts the recommendation and further directs that Dr. Gabriel
Suswam and Hon. Omadachi Oklobia be prosecuted.
11.14 Receipt and acknowledgement of total cash of N578,000,000.00 (Five
hundred and seventy eight million naira) by Hon. Omadachi Oklobia
from Ministry of Finance Cashier, Mr. James Gera. The then
Honourable Commissioner of Finance of the State, Hon. Omadachi
Oklobia acknowledged the receipt in cash the sums of N200million,
N128million, N100 million, and N150million on various dates, without
stating the purpose of the cash and details of disbursement. There was
also no evidence of retirement of these sums from the records of the
Ministry of Finance.
Persons Involved Basis of Conclusions
Hon. Omadachi Oklobia Refer to:
Pages 21,29,31 and 34 of exhibit 300.
11.14.1 Recommendation
a. Hon. Omadachi Oklobia should refund the sum of
N578,000,000.00 (five hundred and seventy eight million).
11.14.2 Comment
Government accepts the recommendation.
90
11.15 Receipt of N100,000,000.00 cash by the Permanent Secretary
Ministry of Finance Mrs. Ruth Ijir as Government House Overhead
for 4 months (September to December 2014). Mrs. Ruth Ijir
acknowledged the receipt in cash the sum of N100million as overhead
for Government House which she claimed was handed over to Dr.
Gabriel Suswam’s orderly, Inspector Julius Donkoh. However, Mr.
Donkoh denied receiving any money from Mrs. Ijir. Mosreover, the
same period that she claimed the overhead was meant for had already
been paid to the Governor in another transaction by the office of the
Accountant-General.
Persons Involved Basis for Conclusions
Mrs. Ruth M. Ijir
Insp. Julius Donkoh
Refer to:
CW2 in vol.1
Exhibit 299
CW96 in vol.1
Exhibit 300
11.15.1 Recommendation
Mrs. Ruth Ijir and Insp. Julius Donkoh should jointly and severally
refund the sum of N100,000,000.00 (one hundred million naira).
91
11.15.2 Comment
Government accepts the recommendation and further directs that Mrs. Ruth
Ijir be retired from the Civil Service.
11.16 Receipt of N120,000,000.00 (one hundred and twenty million
naira) by Mr. Christian Abah as “funds for Microfinance activities”.
The sum of N120million was paid by the Ministry of Finance in cash
to SCAMT Ltd from the total approval of N150m meant “for
microfinance activities”. While the Managing Director of SCAMT
Ltd, Mr. Christian Abah, claimed that the payment was for
consultancy services of “arranging professionals to carryout feasibility
study for the establishment of a Microfinance bank”, the Permanent
Secretary, Mrs. Ruth Ijir said that no such work was carried out.
Neither Mr. Christian Abah nor the Ministry of Finance could show
any contractual document relating to this contract as the job was
claimed to have been awarded verbally by Mr. Omadachi Oklobia.
There is also no document to prove that such work was done.
Persons Involved Basis of Conclusions
Hon. Omadachi Oklobia
Mr. Christian Abah
Scamt Nig. Ltd.
Refer to:
CW2 in vol.1
CW1 in vol.1
Exhibit 297
Exhibit 298
92
CW53 in vol.1
Exhibit 304
Exhibit 300
11.16.1 Recommendation
Hon. Omadachi Oklobia, Mr. Christian Abah and SCAMT Nig.
Ltd should jointly and severally refund the sum of N120million (one
hundred and twenty million naira).
11.16.2 Comment
Government accepts the recommendation and further directs that Hon.
Omadachi Oklobia, SCAMT Nig. Ltd and Mr. Christian Aba be prosecuted.
11.17 Receipt and payment of N40,000,000.00 cash for “Kero Direct
activities” to Government House. The said amount was purportedly
collected by Sunday D. Umoru and paid to Mr. Fergus Manger as “funds
for Kero Direct activities”. However, Mr. Fergus Manger denied collecting
such amount from Mr. Sunday Umoru.
Persons involved Basis of Conclusions
Sunday D. Umoru
Refer to:
CW2 in vol.1
CW53 in vol.1
CW49 in vol.1
CW21 in vol.1
93
Exhibit 297
Exhibit 296
Exhibit 296A
Exhibit 298
CW100 in vol.1
Exhibit 304
Exhibit 300
Refer to:
CW91 in vol.1
Exhibit 298
CW100 in vol.1
11.17.1 Recommendation
a. Sunday D. Umoru to refund the sum of N40million (forty million
naira) collected for “Kero Direct”.
11.17.2 Comment
Government accepts the recommendation and further directs that Sunday
D. Umoru be prosecuted.
11.18 Receipt of N65,000,000.00 by Ibrahim H. Baba from Ministry of
Finance – This cash amount was collected by Hon. Omadachi
Oklobia’s driver, Ibrahim H. Baba, who claimed he handed over the
money to Mr Oklobia who in turn handed it over to Inspector
Julius Donko, Dr. Suswam’s Orderly in his presence. However, Mr.
Donko denied receiving the money.
94
Persons Involved Basis of Conclusions
Dr. Gabriel Suswam
Hon. Omadachi Oklobia
Insp. Julius Donko
Refer to:
CW68 in vol.1
Exhibit 297
Exhibit 296
Exhibit 296A
Exhibit 304
Exhibit 298
CW96 in vol.1
Exhibit 300
11.18.1 Recommendation
Dr. Gabriel Suswam, Hon. Omadachi Oklobia and Insp. Julius Donko
should jointly and severally refund N65,000,000.00 (sixty five million
naira only).
11.18.2 Comment
Government accepts the recommendation.
11.19 Cash Receipt of N44,440,000.00 from Ministry of Finance by Mrs
Maria Iyortyom – The Commission found that this amount was
withdrawn directly from Ministry of Finance account and distributed by
the Office of the Head of Service to Senior Civil Servants to fund 2015
general elections activities. There was however, no record of approval of
95
the amount in the Ministry of Finance or the Office of the Head of
Service.
Persons Involved Basis of Conclusions
Dr. Gabriel Suswam
Refer to:
CW97 in vol.1
Exhibit 297
Exhibit 298
Exhibit 300
Exhibit 316
Exhibit 316A
Exhibit 316B
11.19.1 Recommendation
Dr. Gabriel Suswam to refund the sum of N44,440,000.00 (forty-four
million, four hundred and forty thousand naira only).
11.19.2 Comment
Government accepts the recommendation.
11.20 Cash Receipt of N77,340,000.00 from Ministry of Finance by Mr.
Michael Oko Agbam – The Commission found that this amount was
withdrawn directly from Ministry of Finance accounts and distributed by
the Office of the Secretary to the State Government (SSG) to all political
appointees to fund the 2015 general elections activities. There was
96
however, no record of approval of this amount in the Ministry of
Finance or SSG’s Office.
Persons Involved Basis of conclusions
Dr. Gabriel Suswam
Refer to:
CW98 in vol.1
Exhibit 297
Exhibit 298
Exhibit 300
Exhibit 317
11.20.1 Recommendation
a. Dr. Gabriel Suswam to refund the sum of N77,340,000.00
(seventy-seven million, three hundred and forty thousand naira
only).
11.20.2 Comment
Government accepts the recommendation.
11.21 Receipt of N161,000,000.00 cash from Ministry of Finance cashier by
Miss. Ajuma Olokpo and Abel Musa.
a) As staff of GTBank, Abel Musa acknowledge receipt of N33.8m on
behalf of Miss Ajuma Olokpo (former Manager of GTBank) who
directed him to pay it into GTBank a/c 0019996443 belonging to
97
Mohammed Kabiru Rago, a Bureau De Change (BDC) operator.
However, the total sum deposited into Rago’s account by Abel
Musa as per the statement of account was N9,000,000.00 only
leaving a balance of N24.8million unaccounted for.
b) Aromeh Abel Musa,who is also Abel Musa, acknowledged the
receipt of a further sum of N41.2million for deposit with GTBank
Plc.
c) Again Abel Musa acknowledged receipt of N16million on behalf of
Ajuma Olokpo which he claimed was handed over to her. Miss
Olokpo, however, denied collecting the said sum from Abel Musa.
d) Miss Ajuma Olokpo acknowledged receiving various cash sums
totalling N70million from the Ministry of Finance cashier, Mr.
Augustine Hanseza on various dates. She claimed the cash was paid
into GTBank account 0019996443 belonging to one Muhammed
Kabiru Rago, a Buraeu-de-change operator as instructed by the
Commissioner, Hon. Omadachi Oklobia. However, an analysis of
the account shows that only N13,484,000.00 was paid into the said
account by Ajuma Olokpo leaving a balance of N56,516,000.00
unaccounted for.
e) The total amount paid into Rago’s account from Makurdi Branch
GTBank was N33,764,000.00 only. While the total sum paid by
Ajuma Olokpo and Abel Aromeh Musa was N22,484,000.00, the
98
difference of N11,280,000.00 was deposited in other names.
Meanwhile Ajuma Olokpo had claimed that any deposit into
Rago’s account from Makurdi Branch of GTBank was from
Ministry of Finance.
f) Out of the total amount of N161,000,000.00 cash collected from
the Ministry of Finance by Ajuma Olokpo and Abel Musa, only
N33,764,000.00 was paid into the account of Rago leaving a
balance of N127,236,000.00 unaccounted for.
Persons Involved Basis of Conclusions
Dr. Gabriel Suswam
Hon. Omadachi Oklobia
Miss. Ajuma Olokpo
Mr. Abel Musa
GTBank Plc
Refer to:
CW87 in vol.1
Exhibit 296
Exhibit 296A
Exhibit 298
Exhibit 30E
CW80 in vol.1
Exhibit 300
Exhibit 304
Exhibit 365
Exhibit 365A
11.21.1 Recommendation
Mr. Abel Musa, Hon. Omadachi Oklobia, Dr. Gabriel Suswam
and GTBank Plc to jointly and severally refund N66,000,000.00
(sixty- six million naira).
99
11.21.2 Comment
Government accepts the recommendation.
11.21.3 Recommendation
Mr. Abel Musa, Miss Ajuma Olokpo, Hon. Omadachi Oklobia, Dr.
Gabriel Suswam and GTBank Plc to jointly and severally refund the
sum of N4,720,000.00 (four million, seven hundred and twenty
thousand naira). This is the difference between the N16million
which Abel Musa claimed to have given to Miss Olokpo and
N11,280,000.00 paid in by other depositors.
11.21.4 Comment
Government accepts the recommendation.
11.21.5 Recommendation
Miss Ajuma Olokpo, Hon. Omadachi Oklobia, Dr. Gabriel Suswam
and GTBank Plc to jointly and severally refund the sum of
N56,516,000.00 (fifty- six million, five hundred and sixteen thousand
naira).
11.21.6 Comment
Government accepts the recommendation.
11.21.7 Recommendation
Mr. Abel Musa, Miss Ajuma Olokpo, Hon. Omadachi Oklobia, Dr.
Gabriel Suswam and GTBank Plc to jointly and severally refund
100
N11,280,000.00 (eleven million, two hundred and eighty thousand
naira).
11.21.8 Comment
Government accepts the recommendation.
11.21.9 Recommendation
Dr. Gabriel Suswam, Hon. Omadachi Oklobia and GTBank Plc to
jointly and severally refund the sum of N22,484,000.00 (twenty two
million, four hundred and eighty four thousand naira).
11.21.10 Comment
Government accepts the recommendation.
11.22 Receipt of sum of N210,000,000.00 from the Ministry of Finance
cashier by Hon. Paul Biam and another sum of N150,000,000.00
by Miss Aza Biam on behalf of Paul Biam. Documents show that
Hon. Paul Biam acknowledged the receipt of the sums of
N10million and N200milion on various dates from the Ministry of
Finance but denied that he collected such monies before the
Commission. When confronted with the documents he said the
handwriting and signature on the acknowledgment papers
resembled his own. He also denied sending or receiving any monies
from his sister, Miss Aza Biam, who was said to have acknowledged
receipt of N150million on his behalf on another acknowledgement
document.
101
Persons Involved Basis of conclusions
Mrs. Ruth Ijir
Hon. Paul Biam
Miss Aza Biam
Refer to:
CW 72 vol.1
CW 90 in vol.1
Exhibits 296,296A and 296B.
CW2 in vol.1
11.22.1 Recommendation
Hon. Paul Biam and Mrs. Ruth Ijir should jointly and severally
refund the sum of N210,000,000.00 (two hundred and ten million
naira).
11.22.2 Comment
Government accepts the recommendation.
11.22.3 Recommendation
Mrs. Ruth Ijir, Hon Paul Biam and Miss Aza Biam should jointly
and severally refund the sum of N150million (one hundred and fifty
million naira).
11.22.4 Comment
Government accepts the recommendation and further directs that Mrs. Ruth
Ijir be retired from the Civil Service, Hon. Paul Biam and Miss Aza Biam
be prosecuted.
102
11.23 Payment of N350,000,000.00 to Mr. Jonathan Agbidye as funds
for the conduct of Local Government Polls - The sum of
N350million was withdrawn from the account of the Ministry of
Finance by Mr. Jonathan Agbidye who testified to the Commission
that his Permanent Secretary, Mr. Tivlumun Nyitse directed him to
collect the said amount from the Ministry of Finance. According to
him, he collected the money and handed it over to Mr. Nyitse
accordingly. He testified further that the amount was purportedly
meant for the conduct of Local Government Polls but wondered
why the amount had to be given to the Permanent Secretary,
Government House Administration.
Mr. Tivlumun Nyitse who was the Permanent Secretary,
Government House Administration, admitted that he collected the
said amount from Mr. Agbidye but claimed that the cash of
N350million was handed over to his principal, Dr. Gabriel Suswam,
as he never requested for such funds in his office and only knew
from the Ministry of Finance that the money was meant for the
Governor.
Persons Involved Basis of Conclusions
Dr. Gabriel Suswam
Hon. Omadachi Oklobia
CW 50 in vol.1
CW 58 in vol.1
Exhibit 273
103
11.23.1 Recommendation
Dr. Gabriel Suswam and Hon. Omadachi Oklobia should jointly
and severally refund the sum of N350,000,000.00 (three
hundred and fifty million naira).
11.23.2.1 Comment
Government accepts the recommendation
11.24 Payment and disbursement of N450,000,000.00 as Government
House overhead for ten months – The sum of N450m was released
by the office of the Accountant-General on 31st March 2015 to
Government House Administration as payment for ten months
overhead. However, the entire sum was withdrawn in cash by Mrs.
Janet Aluga and Peter Ochoga and handed over to the Governor,
Dr. Gabriel Suswam.
Persons Involved Basis of Conclusions
Dr. Gabriel Suwam
Refer to:
CW2 in vol.1
Exhibit 9
11.24.1 Recommendation
Dr. Gabriel Suswam to refund the sum of N450,000,000.00 (four
hundred and fifty million naira).
11.24.2 Comment
104
Government accepts the recommendation and frowns at the degree and
magnitude of the fiscal irresponsibility exhibited by Dr. Gabriel T. Suswam
while serving as Governor of the State.
11.25 Payment of N35,025,368,000.00 (thirty five billion, twenty five
million, three hundred and sixty eight thousand naira) as “logistic
funds for security surveillance”- The amount of over N35billion
was paid to the Bureau of Internal Affairs and Special Services
between June 2007 and May 2015. This entire amount was
withdrawn cash and given to the former Governor, Dr. Gabriel
Suswam. However, there was no provision for security budget in any
of the approved annual budgets. Moreover, the Local Governments
claimed they spent their funds on security purposes without any
funding support from the Governor. Even ALGON funds were
claimed to have been spent on security. The Chief Security Officer
to former Governor also claimed to have spent the various cash
sums collected from Ministry of Finance on Security matters. It
became difficult for the Commission to believe that this amount of
N35billion received in cash by the Governor, Dr. Gabriel Suswam,
was used entirely for security purposes.
Persons Involved Basis of Conclusion
Dr. Gabriel Suswam Refer to:
CW2 in vol.1
105
CW21 in vol.1
CW83 in vol.1
CW86 in vol.1
Exhibit 2
Exhibit 3
Exhibit 4
Exhibit 5
Exhibit 6
Exhibit 7
Exhibit 8
Exhibit 9
Exhibit 254
11.25.1 Recommendation
There should be a further investigation on the huge amount
expended on security within the period under review, and any
unapproved expenditure on security should be refunded by
Dr. Gabriel Suswam.
11.25.2 Comment
Government notes the recommendation.
11.26 Receipt and disbursement of N376,000,000.00 as
“additional cost of running Government activities” made by
the Accountant-General in favour of Bureau of Internal
Affairs and Special Services on 25/03/2015 – The Permanent
106
Secretary, Bureau of Internal Affairs, Mr. Daniel Aernyi,
claimed that after the release by the Accountant-General, the
entire amount was withdrawn in cash and given to the
Governor, Dr. Gabriel Suswam. The Permanent Secretary of
the Bureau as at that time, Mr. Terna Iorkaan, confirmed
receipt of this amount, but said it was used for security
purpose. Mr. Iorkaan also stated that all applications for
security funds were tagged “security surveillance” and not “cost
of running government activities”. According to the
Permanent Secretary, his Bureau did not request for the
money and it was the Accountant-General, Mr. Joseph
Kpaakpa, who informed him that the money was meant for
the Governor. In view of the testimonies of the Permanent
Secretaries and the fact that security funds are always classified
as “logistics funds for security surveillance”, the disbursement
of the said sum to the Bureau was considered suspect. Besides,
there is no Budget head known as “cost of running
government”.
Persons Involved Basis of Conclusions
Dr. Gabriel Suswam
Mr. Terna Iorkaan
Refer to:
CW 21 in vol 1
CW 29 in vol 1
107
Exhibit 255.
11.26.1 Recommendation
Dr. Gabriel Suswam and Mr. Terna Iorkaan are to jointly and
severally refund the sum of N376,000,000.00 (three hundred
and seventy six million naira)
11.26.2 Comment
Government accepts the recommendation and further directs that Dr.
Gabriel Suswam and Terna Iorkaan be prosecuted
11.27 Payment of N5,887,000,000.00 as “cost of running
Government” to various MDAs by the office of the Accountant-
General – This strange sub-head was introduced by the
Accountant-General’s office and the Ministry of Finance.
Between 2011 and 2015, a total of N5.9billion was paid through
it without any approval. The entire amount remitted by the
Accountant-General under this expenditure sub-head was
withdrawn cash from the Banks of the MDAs (Bureau of Internal
Affairs, Ministry of Finance and Government House) and spent.
Persons Involved Basis of conclusion
Dr. Gabriel Suswam
Hon. Omadachi Oklobia
Mrs. Ruth Ijir
Refer to:
CW 22 in Vol 1
CW 29 in Vol 1
108
Mr. Joseph Kpaakpa
CW 21 in Vol 1
CW 1 in Vol 1
Exhibit 20
Exhibit 20A
Exhibit 5 -9
11.27.1 Recommendation
Dr. Gabriel Suswam, Hon. Omadachi Oklobia, Mrs. Ruth Ijir
and Mr. Joseph Kpaakpa should jointly and severally refund
the sum of N5,887,000,000.00 (five billion, eight hundred
and eighty seven million naira).
11.27.2 Comment
Government accepts the recommendation.
11.28 Receipt and disbursement of N100,000,000.00 cash by the
Government House Accountant (Mrs. Janet T. Aluga) from
Ministry of Finance- Mrs. Aluga collected this amount from Mrs
Ruth Ijir and personally handed same to the former Governor,
Dr. Gabriel Suswam.
Persons Involved Basis of Conclusion
Dr. Gabriel Suswam
Mrs. Ruth Ijir
Refer to:
CW 75 in Vol 1
Page 46 of Exh. 300
109
11.28.1 Recommendation
Dr. Gabriel Suswam and Mrs. Ruth Ijir are to jointly and
severally refund this sum of N100,000,000.00 (one hundred
million naira).
11.28.2 Comment
Government accepts the recommendation.
11.29 Receipt and disbursement of N200,000,000.00 (two hundred
million naira) cash by Mrs. Monica Member Ugbema
(N100million on 4/6/2010 and N100million on 11/6/2010) –
This cash amount was said to have been paid by Ministry of
Finance to the Bureau of Internal Affairs without an originating
request from the Bureau as cost of running government. The
cash was said to have been handed over to the then Permanent
Secretary, Mr. Hinga Biem, who confirmed to the Commission
that the funds were disbursed at the instance of the former
Governor.
Persons Involved Basis of Conclusions
Dr. Gabriel Suswam
Hon. Omadachi Oklobia
Refer to:
CW76 in vol.1
110
Cw21 in vol.1
11.29.1 Recommendation
Dr. Gabriel Suswam and Hon. Omadachi Oklobia should
jointly and severally refund the sum of N200,000,000.00 (two
hundred million naira)
11.29.2 Comment
Government accepts the recommendation
11.30 Receipt and disbursement of N50,000,000.00 (Fifty million
naira) cash by Mr. Terna Natar on 15/4/2015 – This cash
amount of N50million was said to have been received from Mr.
James Gera of the Ministry of Finance and handed over to the
Accountant, Government House, Mrs. Janet T. Aluga. Mrs. Aluga
had earlier testified that all monies she collected in this manner
were handed over to Dr. Gabriel Suswam.
Persons Involved Basis of Conclusions
Dr. Gabriel Suswam
Mrs. Janet T. Aluga
Refer to:
CW 94 in vol.1
CW 75 in vol.1
Exhibit 300 page 50.
111
11.30.1 Recommendation
Dr. Gabriel Suswam should refund the sum of
N50,000,000.00 (Fifty million naira)
11.30.2 Comment
Government accepts the recomendation
11.31 Receipt and disbursement of over N150,000,000.00 (one
hundred and fifty million naira) by Mr. Peter Ochoga from
the Ministry of Finance – Mr. Ochoga who was the cashier to
Government House said he gave the money to Dr. Gabriel
Suswam. There was no application or approval for this
amount.
Persons Involved Basis of conclusions
Dr. Gabriel Suswam
Refer to:
CW 77 in vol.1
Exhibit 300, 300A
11.31.1 Recommendation
Dr. Gabriel Suswam to refund the sum of N150,000,000.00
(one hundred and fifty million naira)
11.31.2 Comment
Government accepts the recommendation and further directs that
Dr. Gabriel Suswam be prosecuted.
112
11.32 Diversion of N500,000,000.00- Emergency Relief Funds for
flood victims received from the Federal Government - In
2012, the Federal Government released N500million to the
State as relief fund for flood victims. However, this money was
not used for the purpose it was meant for. Even the EXCO
decision that N200million out of this amount should be given
to the Local Government Councils was not implemented. The
entire amount was diverted as follows:
a. On Governor’s approval, N250M was withdrawn cash on
2/10/2012 and handed over to him.
b. The balance of N250million was used by the Ministry of
Water Resources and Environment to construct a drainage
channel between Kyabiz hotel and Benue State University
Teaching Hospital by direct labour. This money was meant to
provide relief for victims of the 2012 flood disaster.
Persons Involved Basis of Conclusions
Dr. Gabriel Suswam
Refer to:
Page 24 of exhibit 6
Exhibit 16
Exhibit 18
CW1 in vol. 1
CW14 in vol.1
CW99 in vol. 1
113
11.32.1 Recommendation
Dr. Gabriel Suswam should refund the sum of N250million
(two hundred and fifty million naira)
11.32.2 Comment
Government accepts the recommendation and frowns at the way and
manner Dr. Gabriel Suswam callously diverted funds meant to
mitigate the plight of flood victims in the State. Government further
directs that Dr. Gabriel Suswam be prosecuted.
11.33 On 2/9/2013, the Governor approved the transfer of
N250million to the Bureau of Internal Affairs and Special
Services from the office of the Accountant-General as funds
for “ecological problems” and this amount was also
withdrawn in cash and handed over to him by his agents in
the Bureau.
Persons Involved Basis of conclusions
Dr. Gabriel Suswam
Refer to:
CW1 In Vol. 1
Exhibit 7
114
11.33.1 Recommendation
Dr. Gabriel Suswam to refund this sum of N250million (two
hundred and fifty million naira)
11.33.2 Comment
Government accepts the recommendation and further directs that Dr.
Gabriel Suswam be prosecuted.
11.34 Approval and withdrawal of N50,000,000.00 as “Christmas
gift for financial institutions” in October – This amount was
approved by the Governor Dr. Gabriel Suswam at the instance
of Hon. Omadachi Oklobia and withdrawn cash without any
verifiable evidence of disbursement.
11.34.1 Observations
a. The budgetary vote for donations/gifts belongs to Government
House Administration and not the Ministry of Finance.
b. The amount for the purpose was too high.
c. The timing of the release in October was unusually early.
Persons Involved Basis of conclusions
Dr. Gabriel Suswam
Hon. Omadachi Oklobia
Refer to :
CW2 in vol.1
115
11.34.2 Recommendation
Dr. Gabriel Suswam and Hon. Omadachi Oklobia should
jointly and severally refund N50,000,000.00 (fifty million
naira)
11.34.3 Comment
Government accepts the recommendation
11.35 Approval and withdrawal of N65,000,000.00 as “handling
charges” paid by Accountant-General to the Bureau of
Internal Affairs, and withdrawn cash. This term “handling
charges” is strange and could not be explained by the
Permanent Secretary of the Bureau, Mr. Dan Aernyi.
Persons Involved Basis of Conclusions
Dr. Gabriel Suswam
Hon. Omadachi Oklobia
Refer to:
CW21 in vol.1
Exhibit 346
11.35.1 Recommendation
Dr. Gabriel Suswam and Hon. Omadachi Oklobia should
jointly and severally refund the N65,000,000.00 (sixty five million
naira).
116
11.35.2 Comment
Government accepts the recommendation.
11.36 Double approval and payment of N14,500,000.00 for
“purchase of Landcruiser for Chief of Staff” - This transaction
was approved by the Governor on May 28, 2014, in two separate
memos of the same content. One payment was made by
Government House Administration while the other was made by
the Ministry of Finance.
Persons involved Basis of conclusions
Dr. Gabriel Suswam
Hon. Omadachi Oklobia
Refer to:
Exhibit 38
11.36.1 Recommendation
Dr. Gabriel Suswam and Hon. Omadachi Oklobia should
jointly and severally refund N14,500,000.00 (fourteen million,
five hundred naira).
11.36.2 Comment
Government accepts the recommendation.
11.37 Double approval and payment of N15,000,000.00 as
“purchase of 2No. Security Vehicles” on 18/03/2013. This
117
was also approved by the former Governor and disbursed twice
via separate memos of same content.
Persons involved Basis of Conclusions
Dr. Gabriel Suswam
Hon. Omadachi Oklobia
Exhibit 7
CW1 in Vol. 1
11.37.1 Recommendation
Dr. Gabriel Suswam and Hon. Omadachi Oklobia should jointly
and severally refund N15,000,000.00 (fifteen million
naira only).
11.37.2 Comment
Government accepts the recommendation.
11.38 Misappropriation of the State component of SURE-P funds – A
total of N7,743,731,873.59 was received by the State as SURE-P
funds. Only N1,236,318,000.00 was expended by the State
Implementation Committee for the purpose intended. The balance
of N6,507,413,873.59 was diverted (and in most cases withdrawn
cash) to questionable uses on the approval of Dr. Gabriel Suswam,
his Commissioner – Hon. Omadachi Oklobia, Mrs. Ruth Ijir and
Mr. Joseph Kpaakpa.
118
Persons Involved Basis of conclusions
Dr. Gabriel Suswam
Hon. Omadachi Oklobia
Mr. Joseph Kpaakpa
Mrs. Ruth Ijir
Refer to:
CW2
CW3
CW4 in vol.1
Exhibit 18, 102, 102A-G, 324, 340, 341,
341A.
11.38.1 Recommendation
Dr. Gabriel Suswam, Hon. Omadachi Oklobia, Mrs. Ruth
Ijir and Mr. Joseph Kpaakpa should jointly and severally
refund the N6,507,413,873.59 (six billion, five hundred and
seven million, four hundred and thirteen thousand, eight
hundred and seventy three naira, fifty nine kobo).
11.38.2 Comment
Government accepts the recommendation and frowns at the callous
manner with which Dr. Gabriel Suswam diverted funds meant for
empowerment of youths in the State. Government further directs that
Dr. Gabriel Suswam and Hon. Omadachi Oklobia be prosecuted.
11.39 Misappropriation of the Bond Proceeds
1. For the N13billion bond floated in 2011, the evidence before
the Commission shows that N12,088,179,773.58 was expended
on the earmarked projects leaving a balance of N911,820,226.50
unaccounted for.
119
2. On the 2014 bond of N5billion, the Commission found that
N4,537,596,320.50 was received. This was not used for the
purpose stated in the prospectus. The Commission also found a
series of irregularities associated with this bond issue.
Persons involved Basis of conclusions
Dr. Gabriel Suswam
Hon. Omadachi Oklobia
Refer to:
Exh. 17
CW1 and CW2 in vol.1
11.39.1 Recommendation
Dr Gabriel Suswam and Hon. Omadachi Oklobia to jointly and
severally refund the sum of N911,820,226.50(nine hundred
and eleven million, eight hundred and twenty thousand, two
hundred and twenty six naira, fifty kobo) being the
unaccounted balance of the N13million bond.
11.39.2 Comment
Government accepts the recommendation and further directs that Dr.
Gabriel Suswam and Hon. Omadachi Oklobia be prosecuted.
11.39.3 Recommendation
Dr Gabriel Suswam and Hon. Omadachi Oklobia should also
jointly and severally refund the sum of N4,537,596,320.50(four
billion, five hundred and thirty seven million, five hundred and
120
ninety-six thousand, three hundred and twenty naira, fifty
kobo) proceeds of the 2014 bond issue which were diverted.
11.39.4 Comment
Government accepts the recommendation and directs that Dr. Gabriel
Suswam and Hon. Omadachi Oklobia be prosecuted. Government
further frowns at the way and manner Dr. Gabriel Suswam mortgaged
the future and destiny of Benue State.
11.40 Misappropriation of N1,000,000,000.00 (one billion naira)
Commercial Agricultural Credit Scheme Facility from Central
Bank of Nigeria-The state government received N1billion from
CBN in 2012 for disbursement to farmers as Micro Credit
Loans for agricultural purposes. This amount was diverted and
used for political patronage. Records available to the
Commission show that due process was not followed in
advancing the loans as only politicians and their cronies
benefited. Some MDAs including the Ministry of Finance,
Government House Administration, Bureau of Internal Affairs
and Special Services, also featured as beneficiaries of the loan.
Details of disbursement show that N806,625,000.00 was given
out as loans to politicians and their cronies while
N193,700,700.00 was given out to MDAs.
121
(Details of this transaction is contained in Chapter Ten of this
report).
Persons involved Basis of conclusions
Dr. Gabriel Suswam
Hon. Omadachi Oklobia
Mrs. Ruth Ijir
Refer to:
CW1 and CW2 in Vol.1
Exhibit 19.
11.40.1 Recommendation
Concerted efforts should be made to recover the loans from
the beneficiaries.
11.40.2 Comment
Government accepts the recommendation.
11.40.3 Recommendation
Hon. Omadachi Oklobia and Mrs Ruth Ijir should jointly and
severally refund the sum of N197,700,700.00(one hundred
and ninety-seven million, seven hundred thousand, seven
hundred naira) diverted to MDAs.
11.40.4 Comment
Government accepts the recommendation.
11.41 Receipt of N2,000,000,000.00 (Two billion naira) CBN MSMEs
Development fund facility - Out of the N2billion credit facility
122
accessed from the CBN for the scheme, only N1billion was used
for the purpose. The balance of N1billion was diverted by the
Governor and the Ministry of Finance. Details of the transaction
are in Chapter Ten of this report.
Persons Involved Basis of conclusions
Dr. Gabriel Suswam
Hon. Omadachi Oklobia
CW1 and CW2 in Vol. 1
Exhibit 347A
Exhibit 347B
Exhibit 347C
Exhibit 249C
11.41.2 Recommendation
The diverted amount of N1billion should jointly and severally be
refunded by Dr. Gabriel Suswam and Hon. Omadachi Oklobia.
11.41.3 Comment
Government accepts the recommendation and further directs that
Dr. Gabriel Suwam and Hon. Omadachi Oklobia be prosecuted.
11.42 Misappropriation of Scholarship Funds
a) The Commission found that on 14/3/2014, EXCO approved the
sum of N414million as scholarship to students. This approval was
based on a memorandum presented to Council by Hon. Omadachi
Oklobia. The money was released for payment but it never got to
123
the Scholarship Board. It was withdrawn cash by the Ministry of
Finance at the instruction of Hon. Omadachi Oklobia.
b) Two days later (on March 16, 2004), Hon Omadachi Oklobia
raised another memorandum to the Governor requesting for an
additional sum of N290,000,000.00 for “omitted cases of
scholarship”. This amount which was above the Governor’s
approval limit was approved and released to the Board when Mr.
Solomom Tor Gba was the Executive Secretary. The Commission
found that only about N31,497,894.00 was actually used as
payment to students leaving a balance of N258,502,106.00
unaccounted for.
The Commission also found that there were huge unauthorized
deductions from the students’ allowances for dues and scratch
cards.
For instance, from NCE French Immersion students entitled to
N50,000.00, as much as between N33,500 – N42,000 was deducted
as dues and between N8,000 and N11,000 for scratch card. For
Law students entitled to N250,000.00, N12,500 was deducted as
dues and N8,000 for scratch card.
In some instances millions of naira were paid into individual
accounts as students allowances.
124
c) From the Zenith Bank account of the Scholarship Board a
number of transactions amounting to N37,753,000.00 between
29/1/2010 - 15/3/2011 were queried by the Commission. These
transactions are detailed as follows-
S/N DATE NARRATION AMOUNT
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
29/1/2010
04/03/2010
04/03/2010
04/03/2010
04/03/2010
01/03/2011
01/03/2011
03/03/2011
15/03/2011
PD Iorzaa Victor
TRF To Gumh Jack
TRF To Gumh Jack
TRF To Gumh Jack
TRF To Gumh Jack
Usman
PD Mtomg Mark A
PD Usman Shehu
Mr Mtomga
Aondoaseer
3,112,000.00
9,600,000.00
7,000,000.00
9,600,000.00
7,000,000.00
560,000.00
85,000.00
700,000.00
96,000.00
37,753,000.00
Apart from his testimony before the Commission, Mr Jack Gumh,
Executive Secretary of Scholarship Board at the time, submitted a
written explanation marked as Exhibit 363. However, the
125
Commission was not satisfied with his explanation in respect of nos
1-5 above amounting to N36,312,000.00
Persons Involved Basis of Conclusions
Dr. Gabriel Suswam
Hon. Omadachi Oklobia
Mr. Solomon Tor Gba
Jack Gumh
Refer to:
CW8 in vol.I
Letter from Sterling Bank
Table 5 of this report
Exhibit 266
Exhibit 269A
Exhibit 269B
Exhibit 85
Exhibit 362
Exhibit 362 A-362K
11.42.1 Recommendation
Dr. Gabriel Suswam and Hon. Omadachi Oklobia should
jointly and severally refund the sum of N414million collected
as scholarship funds.
11.42.2 Comment
Government accepts the recommendation and further expresses
disgust at the way Dr. Gabriel Suswam and Hon. Omadachi
Oklobia toyed with the destiny of Benue Students by misappropriating
their scholarship funds. Government further directs that Dr.
Gabriel Suwam and Hon. Omadachi Oklobia be prosecuted.
126
11.42.3 Recommendation
Solomon Tor Gba should refund the sum of
N258,502,106.00(two hundred and fifty-eight million, five
hundred and two thousand, one hundred and six naira).
11.42.4 Comment
Government accepts the recommendation and further directs that Mr.
Solomon Tor Gba be dismissed from the Civil Service and prosecuted.
11.42.5 Mr. Jack Gumh should refund the sum of N36,312,000.00
(thirty-six million, three hundred and twelve thousand naira).
11.42.6 Comment
Government accepts the recommendation and directs that Mr. Jack
Gumh be compulsorily retired from the Civil Service and prosecuted.
11.43 Misappropriation of N2,000,000,000.00 (two billion naira)
Ecological Funds – The sum of N2billion was received by the
Government of Benue State from the Office of the Accountant-
General of the Federation in 2013. This amount was completely
diverted and misappropriated.
Persons involved Bass of conclusions
Dr. Gabriel Suswam
Hon. Omadachi Oklobia
Refer to:
Exhibit 153
CW1 in vol.1
127
11.43.1 Recommendation
Dr. Gabriel Suswam and Hon. Omadachi Oklobia should jointly
and severally refund this sum of N2,000,000,000.00 (two billion
naira).
11.43.2 Comment
Government accepts the recommendation
11.44 Payment of N1,000,000,000.00 to CGGC Global Projects Ltd
on 11/11/2014 for work not done – This N1billion was an
advance payment for the construction of Igbor–Ikpa–Wannune
Road. The payment is far above the approved 30% limit for
construction jobs. As at May 2015, the job was yet to commence.
This amounts to misappropriation.
Persons involved Basis of conclusions
Dr. Gabriel Suswam
Hon. John Ngbede
Refer to:
CW81 in vol.1
Exhibit 13
Exhibit 18
Exhibit 17
Exhibit 20
11.44.1 Recommendation:
128
Dr. Gabriel Suswam and Hon. John Ngbede should jointly
and severally refund this sum of N1,000,000,000.00 (one
billion naira).
11.44.2 Comment
Government accepts the recommendation and further directs that
M/S CGGC GLOBAL PROJECTS LTD, Dr. Gabriel Suswam
and John Ngbede be prosecuted.
11.45 Approval of N150m as Governor’s Christmas gift in 2014 – The
Governor in 2014 approved a total sum of N177million as
Christmas gifts and end of year activities. This was immediately
followed by a single approval of N150million as his Christmas gift
to himself. This was above his approval limit. The Commission
found that this amount was from the proceeds of the sale of
shares.
Persons involved Basis of conclusions
Dr. Gabriel Suswam
Refer to:
CW2 in vol.1
11.45.1 Recommendation
Dr. Gabriel Suswam should refund the sum of
N150,000,000.00 (one hundred and fifty million naira)
received as Christmas Gift for himself.
129
11.45.2 Comment
Government accepts the recommendation and further directs that Dr.
Gabriel Suswam be prosecuted.
11.46 Approval and disbursement of N214,809,000.00 on 13/4/2012
for “purchase of vehicles for Governor/Deputy Governor Elect
and their Wives” was made by the former Governor without the
knowledge of EXCO. This approval is above his limit and
required EXCO approval. Moreover, the cost of the 8No vehicles
purportedly purchased with the funds are considered highly
inflated.
Persons involved Basis of conclusions
Dr. Gabriel Suswam
Hon. Omadachi Oklobia
Refer to:
CW1 in vol.1
CW5 in vol.1
Approval limits of public officers.
11.46.1 Recommendation
The actual cost of these vehicles should be verified and the
difference, if any, jointly and severally refunded by Dr. Gabriel
Suswam and Hon. Omadachi Oklobia.
130
11.46.2 Comment
Government accepts the recommendation and directs the Ministry of
Finance to implement.
11.47 Approval and disbursement of N164,000,000.00 on 10/11/2014
single handedly by Dr. Gabriel Suswam for repair work at Aper
Aku Stadium. This was above his approval limit, and no contract
documents were seen by the Commission.
Persons involved Basis of conclusions
Dr. Gabriel Suswam
Hon. Omadachi Oklobia
Refer to:
CW1 testimony and documents tendered
in exhibit.
CW2 testimony in vol.1
11.47.1 Recommendation
This amount of N164,000,000.00 (one hundred and sixty
four million naira)to be refunded by Dr. Gabriel Suswam and
Hon. Omadach Oklobia.
11.47.2 Comment
Government accepts the recommendation and further directs that
Dr. Gabriel Suwam and Hon. Omadachi Oklobia be prosecuted.
131
11.48 Approval and disbursement of N65,000,000.00 - On
16/12/2013, the Hon. Commissioner, Ministry of Finance, Hon.
Omadachi Oklobia (rather than the Permanent Secretary, Bureau
of Internal Affairs and Special Services), raised a memorandum to
the Governor, Dr. Gabriel Suswam for approval of N65million as
“logistic support to security”. The Governor gave approval, despite
the fact that it was above his limit, and the amount was withdrawn
cash and has not been accounted for.
Persons involved Basis of conclusions
Dr. Gabriel Suswam
Hon. Omadachi Oklobia
Refer to:
CW1 testimony in vol.1
CW2 testimony in vol.1
11.48.1 Recommendation
Dr. Gabriel Suswam and Hon. Omadachi Oklobia should
jointly and severally refund this amount of N65,000,000.00
(sixty five million naira) only.
11.48.2 Comment
Government accepts the recommendation.
11.49 Approval and disbursement of N150,000,000.00 for
procurement of pickup vans for Security by the former
Governor, Dr. Gabriel Suswam, on 20/03/2014. This approval
132
was above his approval limitand there is no record of this
purported procurement.
Persons involved Basis of conclusions
Dr. Gabriel Suswam
Refer to:
CW1
11.49.1 Recommendation
Dr. Gabriel Suswam should refund the sum of
N150,000,000.00 (one hundred and fifty million) approved
and disbursed for the purpose.
11.49.2 Comment
Government accepts the recommendation and further directs that Dr.
Gabriel Suswam be procesuted..
11.50 Approval and disbursement of N524,579,433.00 for the Katsina-
Ala Yam Flour contract – The former Governor unilaterally
approved above his limit, the award of contract for Katsina-Ala
Yam Flour in four components as stated below:
Contractor Contract
specification
Amount
a. Founders
Inv. Ltd
Supply/Installation
of Machinery
N354,077,393.90
133
Contractor Contract
specification
Amount
b. Bimalp
West
Africa Ltd.
Consultancy on
the project
N25,000,000.00
c. Marine
Express
Nig. Ltd.
Clearing of
Machinery and
Equipment
N48,972,647.00
d. Direct
Labour
Civil Works N95,529,392.50
Total N524,579,433.00
There was no appropriation for these contracts. Moreover, all the
contracts were awarded to friends and relations of the former
Governor. For example, Founders Investments Ltd is owned by his
friend and relation, Mr. Timothy Ijir, Bimalp West Africa Ltd. is
owned by his relation Engr. Bill Anaka, while Marine Express Nig.
Ltd. is owned by his relation and Special Assistant, Mr. Joseph
Tsavsar (alias Joe K).
Additionally, the amount approved for civil works is quite outrageous
as the site already had existing structures which only required some
modifications. Moreover, funding for this contract was done directly
by Ministry of Commerce and Industries from the sale/lease proceeds
134
of Benue Breweries Ltd and Taraku Mills Ltd respectively which were
not remitted to Accountant-General.
11.50.1 Observation
The cost of the project appears inflated.
Persons involved Basis of conclusion
Dr. Gabriel Suswam
Hon. Terfa Ihindan
Refer to:
CW5 in vol.1
Exhibit 122
11.50.2 Recommendation
Government to secure the services of an independent
professional to ascertain the true cost of the project and the
excess, if any, be refunded by Dr. Gabriel Suswam and Hon.
Terfa Ihindan.
11.50.3 Comment
Government accepts the recommendation and directs Ministry of
Industry, Trade and Investment to implement. Government further
directs the Ministry of Justice to refer the case of Mr. Joseph Tsavsar
(alias Joe K) to the Code of Conduct Tribunal for engaging in
contract execution while in public office.
11.51 Contract award and payments for the Makurdi Ultra-
ModernInternational Market- This contract was proposed to the
135
State Government by M/S Metropole Development Ltd.
(believed to be owned by the Governor’s wife, Mrs. Yemisi
Suswam) in 2008 as a Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) joint
venture between the Company and the State Government. The
State Government was to provide the land while the Company
was to source funds independently, build, operate and eventually
transfer the market to the State Government.
Curiously, the project was suddenly converted from BOT to a full
contract at an initial cost of N1,768,904,258.15 without
appropriation. Before the conversion, N1,000,000,000.00 had been
paid to the Company. The contract price was later revised upwards to
N2,800,121,630.46 in 2011. However, only about 40% of this
contract has been executed but full payment has been made to the
contractor.The initial contract and revision were not appropriated.
11.51.1 Observation
The conversion from a BOT project to a full contract was in
bad faith especially as N1billion had been released to the
company when it was still BOT.
Persons involved Basis of conclusions
Dr. Gabriel Suswam
M/S Metropole Development Ltd
Refer to:
CW5 in vol.1
CW2 in vol. 1
136
CW1 in vol.1
Ex.113
Ex. 35
11.51.2 Recommendation
The contractor, M/S Metropole Development Ltd and Dr.
Gabriel Suswam should jointly and separately refund the sum of
N1,031,217,372.31(one billion, thirty one million, two hundred
and seventeen thousand, three hundred and seventy-two naira,
thirty-one kobo) being the difference between the initial contract
price and the revised contract sum as there was no justification for
the revision.
11.51.3 Comment
Government accepts the recommendation and further directs that
M/S Metropole Development Ltd and Dr. Gabriel Suswam be
prosecuted.
11.51.4 Recommendation
A professional to review the entire contract and excess payment
if any be refunded by the Company and Dr. Gabriel Suswam.
11.51.5 Comment
Government accepts the recommendation and directs the Ministry of
Industry, Trade and Investment to implement.
137
11.52 Misappropriation of Revenues collected from the Modern
Market and Makurdi Ultramodern International Market. The
revenues that accrued to the State Government from the lease and
sale of shops and related activities in the markets were lodged into
accounts of Benue Integrated Markets Development Company
(BEIMCO) domiciled with FCMB and Diamond Bank. A total of
N139,241,420 was paid into the accounts between 27th May, 2014
and 29th May 2015. However, the sum of N123,436,440.00 was
withdrawn by aides of Hon. Terfa Ihindan, Mr. Sam Tor and
Solomon Alabi. It must be noted that Mr. Sam Tor and Solomon
Alabi who were appointed signatories to BEIMCO accounts by
Hon. Terfa Ihindan were never staff of the Ministry of Commerce
and Industry.
Persons Involved Basis of conclusion
Hon. Terfa Ihindan
Mr. Sam Tor
Mr. Solomon Alabi
Refer to:
CW5 on Vol. 1
Exhibit 35 (appendix (i) & (j)
CW26
11.52.1 Recommendation
Hon. Terfa Ihindan, Mr. Sam Tor and Mr. Solomon Alabi
should jointly and severally refund the sum of N123,436,440.00
138
(one hundred and twenty three million, four hundred and thirty
six thousand, four hundred and forty naira).
11.52.2 Comment
Government accepts the recommendation and further directs that
Hon. Terfa Ihindan, Mr. Sam Tor and Mr. Solomon Alabi be
prosecuted.
11.53 Misappropriation of N500,000,000.00 earmarked for Micro
Credit fund with Bank of Industry – The sum of N500million
had earlier been deposited with BOI as counterpart fund
contribution. This amount was hurriedly withdrawn in 2013 and
simply shared among political allies, friends, relatives and political
thugs by the administration using a consultant, Data Diamond
Global Concept Ltd as the major instrument. Hon Tsenongo
Abancha was the Managing Director. His friends also benefitted
from the loan. The transaction, beginning from the appointment
of the Consultant to manage the processing, disbursement and
recovery of the loans, was a fraud as most aspects of the contact
were verbally done between the MD of Data Diamond Global
Concepts, Hon.Tsenongo Abancha and the then Commissioner
of Commerce and Industries, Hon. Terfa Ihindan. The
consultant, Hon. Tsenongo Abancha, who was vested with the
139
responsibility of processing beneficiaries of the Micro-loans gave
names verbally dictated by the Commissioner and directed
disbursements without any documentation before draw-down.
This had made the recovery process almost impossible.
Consequently, over three years after the due date of repayment,
the loan repayment rate is zero percent. Curiously, the M.D. of
Data Diamond Hon. Tsenongo Abancha, has already collected
N6.5million as his processing fees and N13million as recovery fee.
Infact, the purported “recovery fees” was withdrawn from the
same SME’s fund by Hon. Tsenongo Abancha as late as 27th May
2015, at the twilight of that administration. The N13,000,000.00
of the SMEs fund withdrawn as “recovery fees” by Hon. Abancha
represented 90% of his recovery fees even when no recovery had
been done. The Commission views this “irregular” engagement of
Consultant and verbal processing of beneficiaries without any
defined criteria as a ploy to share state funds.
Persons involved Basis of conclusions
Dr. Gabriel Suswam
Hon. Terfa Ihindan
Hon. Tsenongo Abancha
Data Diamond Global Concept Ltd
Refer to:
CW5 in vol. 1
CW18 in vol. 1
CW26 in Vol.1
Exhibit 35
appendix E and K.
140
11.53.1 Recommendation
Dr. Gabriel Suswam and Hon. Terfa Ihindan should jointly
and severally refund N487,000,000.00 (four hundred and
eighty-seven million naira)
11.53.2 Comment
Government accepts the recommendation and further directs that Dr.
Gabriel Suswam and Hon Terfa Ihindan be prosecuted.
11.53.3 Recommendation
Hon. Tsenongo Abancha, Data Diamond Global Concept Ltd
and Hon. Terfa Ihindan should jointly and severally refund
the sum of N19.5million (nineteen million, five hundred
thousand naira) paid for work not done.
11.53.4 Comment
Government accepts the recommendation and further directs Hon.
Tsenongo Abancha to resign his appointment as Special Adviser to
the Executive Governor.
11.54 Misappropriation of Local Government staff training funds
domiciled with Local Government Service Commission. A
total of N1,277,321,216 deducted from Local Government
Councils’ funds and paid into the accounts of the Local
Government Service Commission as training funds was wholly
141
withdrawn in cash and misappropriated during the period
under review. No evidence was shown to the Commission that
any training took place. Infact, in an attempt to cover up the
misappropriation, Mr. Gbande and his staff asked for time to
bring relevant payment vouchers to the Commission.
Unfortunately, the manufactured P.Vs they eventually brought
showed that the Commission spent about N400million in
excess of the entire revenues collected during their tenure
without borrowing. The question is: Where did they get the
over N400m they purportedly expended?
Persons involved Basis of conclusions
Hon. Richard Gbande
Mrs. Elizabeth Tyonongo
Mr. James O. Adanu
Refer to:
CW23 . CW45
CW44 . CW57
CW46 . CW61
CW59 . CW63
CW62 .
Exhibit 146-149, 338, 339, 339A
&339B
11.54.1 Recommendation:
Hon. Richard Gbande, Mrs Elizabeth Tyonongo and Mr.
James O. Adanu should jointly and severally refund the sum
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of N1,277,321,216.00 (one billion, two hundred and seventy
seven million, three hundred and twenty one thousand, two
hundred and sixteen naira)
11.54.2 Comment
Government accepts the recommendation and further directs that
Hon. Richard Gbande, Mrs. Elizabeth Tyonongo and James O.
Adanu be prosecuted.
11.55 Misappropriation of N85,583,348.00 Local Government
Pension Funds. The Management of the Local Government
Pension Fund in 2013 misappropriated the sum of
N85,583,348.00 on unidentified expenditure. This amount was
found to have been withdrawn by the then Permanent Secretary,
Mr. Andy Uwouku, who operated several accounts as sole
signatory without the knowledge of even the Accountant of the
Board. Minutes of the Board’s meetings and audit report show
that he was withdrawing monies from these accounts even after
he had retired as the Permanent Secretary of the Board.
Persons Involved Basis of conclusions
Hon. Andy Uwouku
Refer to:
CW24
CW74
143
Exhibit 133A
Exhibit 350, 350A
Exhibit 330, 330A-J
Exhibit 331,331A-F
11.55.1 Recommendation:
Hon. Andy Uwouku should refund the sum of
N85,583,348.00 (eighty five million, five hundred and eighty
three thousand, three hundred and forty eight naira).
11.55.2 Comment
Government accepts the recommendation and further directs that
Hon. Andy Uwouku be prosecuted.
11.56. Illegal Investment and Misappropriation of Primary School
teachers’ salaries. Between November 2013 and June 2014,
the Bureau of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs got a
total sum of N10.5billion as teachers’ salaries. Rather than
paying the teachers, the Bureau deposited the entire amount
into a fixed deposit account. However, when the Bureau
commenced payments of the arrears in July 2014, only
N6,034,813,349.64 was paid directly to the Local Government
Education Authorities (LGEAs) for salaries, leaving a balance
144
of N4,482,504,944.56 which was withdrawn in cash from the
accounts of the Bureau by its officials. The Accountant, Mr.
Ipevnor and the Permanent Secretary, Mr. Asen Sambe could
not provide a satisfactory response to the issue.
Persons involved Basis of Conclusions
Hon. Solomon Wombo
Mr. Asen Sambe
Mr. Isaiah Ipevnor
Refer to:
CW71 in vol. 1
CW56 in vol. 1
Exhibit 321
Exhibit 133A
11.56.1 Recommendation
Hon. Solomon Wombo, Mr. Asen Sambe and Mr. Isaiah
Ipevnor should jointly and severally refund the sum of
N4,482,504,944.56(four billion, four hundred and eighty two
million, five hundred and four thousand, nine hundred and
forty four naira, fifty six kobo).
11.56.2 Comment
Government accepts the recommendation and further directs that
Hon. Solomon wombo, Mr. Asen Sambe be prosecuted, Mr. Isaiah
Ipevnor be dismissed from the Civil Service and prosecuted.
145
11.57 Payment of N95,350,000.00 to King Diasa Ventures by the
Bureau for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs for
unspecified jobs. The Bureau paid King Diasa Ventures the sums
of N36.65million, N15million on 9/7/13 and N43.7million on
25/08/2011 for an unspecified contract. The Commission also
found out that the King Diasa Ventures is a firm owned by Hon.
Paul Kura Wombo, a relative of the then Special Adviser for Local
Government and Chieftaincy Affairs (Solomon Wombo).
Moreover Paul Kura was also a Special Assistant to the Governor,
Dr. Gabriel Suswam.
Persons involved Basis of Conclusion
Hon. Solomon Wombo
Mr. Paul Kura Wombo
King Diasa Ventures
Refer to:
Exhibit 133A
Exhibit 327
Exhibit 324
11.57.1 Recommendation
Hon. Solomon Wombo, Mr. Paul Kura Wombo and King
Diasa Ventures should jointly and severally refund the sum of
N95,350,000.00 (ninety five million, three hundred and fifty
thousand naira)
11.57.2 Comment
146
Government accepts the recommendation and further directs that
Hon. Solomon Wombo, Mr. Paul Kura Wombo and Diasa Ventures
be prosecuted.
11.58 Payment of N572,359,252.00 to King Diasa Ventures by the
Ministry of Water Resources. The Ministry of Water
Resources paid various sums totalling over N572million to
King Diasa Ventures between 2007 and May 2015. King Diasa
Ventures Ltd was owned by Mr. Paul Kura Wombo, who was
also the sole signatory to the Company’s account, purportedly
for the supply of chemicals at the Benue State Water Board.
This transaction was found to be fraudulent as payments were
made without any actual supply. Moreover, the water works
was not functional for most of the period but payments for
water treatment chemicals never ceased. The General Manager,
Benue State Water Board, revealed that if the Board was paid
only N3.5million per month, it would have been able to
procure sufficient water treatment chemicals. This, however,
was not done but rather the payments mentioned above were
made to King Diasa which did not supply the Chemicals.
Persons involved Basis of conclusions
Hon. John Ngbede
Mr. Paul Kura Wombo
Refer to:
CW13 in vol. 1
147
King Diasa Ventures
Exhibit 329
Exhibit 391
11.58.1 Recommendation
King Diasa Ventures and Paul Kura Wombo should refund the
sum of N572,359,252.00 (five hundred and seventy two
million, three hundred and fifty nine thousand, two hundred
and fifty two naira).
11.58.2 Comment
Government accepts the recommendation and further directs that
King Diasa Ventures and Paul Kura Wombo be prosecuted.
11.58.3 Recommendation
Mr. Paul Kura Wombo, being a Public Officer and executing
contracts with the State Government should be referred to the
Code of Conduct Bureau for violation of Code of Conduct for
Public Officers.
11.58.4 Comment
Government accepts the recommendation and further directs Ministry
of Justice to implement.
11.58.5 Recommendation
148
Procurement of chemicals for water treatment should be the
responsibility of the Water Board.
11.58.6 Comment
Government notes the recommendation.
11.59 Payment of N120,200,000.00 to Mr. Paul Kura Wombo
from account of the Bureau of Local Government and
Chieftaincy Affairs – The then Special Assistant to the
Governor, Mr. Paul Kura Wombo (alias P.K.), withdrew
N35,200,000.00, N80,000,000.00 and N5,000,000.00 on the
13/2/2013, 04/06/2012 and 09/07/2012 respectively. These
payments were made for an unspecified purpose as there are no
records of the purpose of these payments as the then
Permanent Secretary, Mr. Asen Sambe, could not provide
convincing explanation regarding the payments. It should be
noted that Mr. P.K. is a brother to Hon. Solomon Wombo and
an aide of the former Governor, Dr. Gabriel Suswam.
Persons involved Basis of conclusions
Hon. Solomon Wombo
Mr. Paul Kura Wombo
Mr. Asen Sambe
Refer to:
CW 19 in vol. 1
Ex. 131
Ex. 134
149
11.59.1 Recommendation
Messrs Paul Kura Wombo, Solomon Wombo and Asen
Sambe should jointly and severally refund the sum of
N120,200,000.00 (one hundred and twenty million, two
hundred thousand naira).
11.59.2 Comment
Government accepts the recommendation and further directs that
Paul Kura Wombo, Solomon Wombo and Asen Sambe be prosecuted.
11.60 Non-Refund of N196,000,000.00 by M/S Brunnel Engineering
Ltd. The Benue State Government awarded a contract for the
construction of Makurdi International Conference Centre to M/S
Brunnel Engineering Ltd and made advanced payments. Due to
poor performance, a joint valuation of the work was made and the
contractor agreed to refund N196,000,000.00 to the State
Government. This amount is still outstanding.
Persons involved Basis of conclusion
M/S Brunnel Engineering and
Consulting Ltd
Refer to:
CW41 in vol. 1
Exhibit 343
Exhibit 343D
Exhibit 262
150
11.60.1 Recommendation
M/S Brunnel Engineering and Consultancy Ltd. should refund
the sum of N196,000,000.00 (one hundred and ninety six
million naira).
11.60.2 Comment
Government accepts the recommendation and directs the Ministry of
Housing and Urban Development to implement.
11.61 Payment of N50,000,000.00 (fifty million naira) into the
account of Hon Chris Dura for maintenance of Makurdi
SolarPowered Street Lights. This payment was made in two
tranches of N25million each in December 2011 and February,
2012. However, apart from the irregular mode of payment of the
amount into the personal account of Hon. Chris Dura, who was
no longer the Commissioner of the Ministry for which the
Payment Voucher was raised, there was no evidence of execution
of the specified job. Moreover, in his defence, Hon. Dura
confirmed that he was paid the amount of N50million in two
tranches of N25million each but the last tranche was paid after he
had retired the first. However, the adjustment vouchers presented
by him contradicted his defence as both vouchers were issued on
the same date.
151
Persons involved Basis of conclusion
Hon. Chris Dura Aondo
Refer to:
CW 79
Exhibit 303
Exhibit 303A
Exhibit 303B
11.61.1 Recommendation
Hon. Chris Dura to refund the sum of N50million (fifty million
naira).
11.61.2 Comment
Government accepts the recommendation and directs that Hon. Chris
Dura be prosecuted.
11.62 The contract award and payment of N117,224,000 to M/S Solab
Engineering for supply of fertilizer in 2012 by Ministry of
Agriculture, Makurdi. This contract was made without due
process and payment effected but all the NPK brand labelled
“Golden Fertilizer” were confirmed to be bad and harmful to
crops, farmlands and farmers. Inspite of the warning against the
use of the fertilizer from both the ministry officials and the
Federal Ministry of Agriculture, which had carried out laboratory
tests on it, the then Commissioner, Dr. Eugene Aliegba insisted
that it should be accepted and distribute to farmers. The
152
Commission found that Solab Engineering Ltd was owned by the
Special Adviser to the Governor for Local Government and
Chieftaincy Affairs, Hon Solomon Wombo whose minor children
(Bemsem Wombo and Abraham Tivfa Wombo) are the directors
of the company. Mr. Martins Agir informed the Commission that
he is the acting Managing Director of the Company. Much of the
fertilizer has not been bought by farmers and has been abandoned
in the Ministry.
Persons involved Basis of conclusions
Dr. Eugene Aliegba
M/S Solab Eng. Ltd
Hon. Martins Agir
Mr. Solomon Wombo
Refer to:
CW35 in vol.1
CW73 in vol.1
CW74 in vol.1
CW(Eugene Aliegba)
CW(Josephus Nyiyongo)
Exhibit 202, 203,320
Exhibit 319
Exhibit 372,372A
11.62.1 Recommendation
Dr. Eugene Aliegba, M/S Solab Engineering Ltd., Hon.
Solomon Wombo and Hon. Martins Agir should jointly and
severally refund the sum of N117,224,400.00 (one hundred and
153
seventeen million, two hundred and twenty four thousand, four
hundred naira) being the value of the bad fertilizer supplied.
11.62.2 Comment
Government accepts the recommendation and frowns at the manner
with which Dr. Eugene Aliegba who was a member of the State
Executive Council disregarded professional advice and directed the
distribution of bad fertilizer to farmers in the State. Government
further directs that Dr. Eugene Aliegba M/S Solab Engineering Ltd,
Hon. Solomon Wombo and Hon. Martins Agir be prosecuted.
11.62.3 Recommendation
The Ministry of Agriculture should destroy the fertilizer.
11.62.4 Comment
Government accepts the recommendation.
11.62.5 Recommendation
Mr. Solomon Wombo, being a public officer, and a company in
which he holds interest, through his minor children, executing
contract with the State Government should be referred to the
Code of Conduct Bureau for violation of the Code of Conduct
for public officers.
11.62.6 Comment
154
Government accepts the recommendation and directs Ministry of
Justice to implement and also to refer the matter to the Economic and
Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
11.63 Misappropriation of funds amounting to N49,044,675.00 at
BIRS during the tenure of Mr. Andrew Ayabam. There were
series of acts of misappropriation carried out by Andrew Ayabam,
his Ag. Board Secretary, Augustine Tor and his personal
Assistant, Torkuma Abunku. A report of the Auditor- General
indicted them of the said wrong doings. An administrative
committee set up to study the audit report affirmed the issues.
These same issues were observed by this Commission and which
found Andrew Ayabam and Torkuma Abunku wanting on all the
issues as contained in Exhibit 190. Accordingly, Mr. Ayabam has
N18,011,675.00 standing against him. Mr. Torkuma Abunku has
N31,033,000.00=standing against him while, Mr. Augustine Tor
has been cleared by the BIRS management and has also tendered
satisfactory explanation to the Commission.
Persons involved Basis of conclusions
Mr. Andrew Ayabam
Mr. Torkuma Abunku
Refer to:
CW 7 in vol. 1
CW31 in vol.1
CW32 in vol.1
155
Persons involved Basis of conclusions
Exhibit 189
Exhibit 190 . Exhibit 282
11.63.1 Recommendation
Mr. Andrew Ayabam should refund N18,011,675.00 (eighteen
million, eleven thousand, six hundred and seventy five naira).
11.63.2 Comment
Government accepts the recommendation.
11.63.4 Recommendation
Mr. Torkuma Abunku should refund N31,033,000.00 (thirty
one million, thirty three thousand naira)
11.63.5 Comment
Government accepts the recommendation.
11.64 Unapproved contract award of N2,722,084,741.74 and
subsequent disbursement of N252,675,404.32 to M/S Focus
Prospectus Ltd for the Construction of Modular Classroom
Blocks across the State. This contract was embarked upon during
the tenure of Mr. Andrew Ayabam as the Executive Chairman of
BIRS without approval. Payment for this contract was made
directly from the revenue collected by the Board. As a revenue
collection agency, the Board has no statutory mandate to execute
capital projects. The expenditure was without appropriation.
156
Persons involved Basis of conclusions
Mr. Andrew Ayabam
Refer to:
CW7 in vol. 1
CW32 in vol. 1
Exhibit 58D
Exhibit 59A
11.64.1 Observations
a. BIRS as a revenue collection agency has no mandate to embark
on capital projects.
b. There was no approval for this contract.
c. There was no valid contract.
d. Payment was made directly out of revenue collected without
appropriation.
11.64.2 Recommendation
The entire circumstances leading to the illegal award of the
contract by Mr. Andrew Ayabam is condemnable.
11.64.3 Comment
Government notes the recommendation.
11.64.4 Recommendation
157
There should be professional valuation of the cost of work done
on the modular classrooms and any excess payment be refunded
by Mr. Andrew Ayabam.
11.64.5 Comment
Government accepts the recommendation and directs the Ministry of
Housing and Urban Development to implement.
11.64.6 Recommendation
Any agreement regarding this transaction should be immediately
revoked.
11.64.7 Comment
Government accepts the recommendation and directs the Ministry of
Justice to implement.
11.64.8 Recommendation
Any uncompleted project in this regard should be taken over by SUBEB.
11.64.9 Comment
Government accepts the recommendation.
11.65 Award of contract to Gilmor Construction Ltd for Greater
Makurdi Water Works and subsequent payments for same.
This contract was awarded in 2007 at N4.9billion for the
construction of 100,000 cubic metres per day water treatment
plant and this was approved by EXCO. However, the then
Commissioner for Water Resources, Hon John Ngbede, issued
158
an award letter and also signed a contract agreement with
Gilmor for only 50,000 cubic metres per day without a
corresponding reduction in the cost of the job. Again Mr.
Ngbede, in 2011, wrote a memo to the EXCO to approve a
variation of the contract sum from N4.9billion to N6.2billion
even when the contract was already at 95% completion level,
and without specified additional scope of work. To date, the
contractor has been paid N5.9billion, representing 95% of total
cost. The Commission further found that the capacity of the
Greater Makurdi Water Works as done by Gilmor is only about
43,000 cubic metres per day, even less capacity than the earlier
contract awarded to Biwater for 47,000 cubic metres per day and
which included reticulation at a total cost of N3billion only.
Persons involved Basis of conclusions
Dr. Gabriel Suswam
Hon. John Ngbede
Gilmor Construction Ltd
Refer to:
CW14 in vol. 1
CW81 in vol.1
Exhibit 99A
Exhibit 174
Exhibit 175
Exhibit 175A
Exhibit 305
Exhibit 305A
159
Exhibit 305B
11.65.1 Recommendation
Dr. Gabriel Suswam and Hon. John Ngbede should jointly and
severally refund N952,276,209.00 (nine hundred and fifty two
million, two hundred and seventy six thousand, two hundred
and nine naira) being payment for the unjustified revision of
the contract.
11.65.2 Comment
Government accepts the recommendation and further directs that
Dr. Gabriel Suswam and Hon. John Ngbede be prosecuted.
11.65.3 Recommendation
The actual value of the work done should be ascertained by a
qualified valuer and Dr. Gabriel Suswam, Hon. John Ngbede
and Gilmor Nig. Ltd should jointly and severally be made to
refund excess payment, if any.
11.65.4 Comment
Government accepts the recommendation and directs Ministry of
Water Resources to implement.
11.65.5 Recommendation
Hon. John Ngbede has demonstrated an act of gross dishonesty
by brazenly circumventing the decision of the State Executive
160
Council (the highest policy making body of the State), for his
selfish ends. He is therefore not fit to hold public office and
should accordingly be barred from holding any public office in
Benue State.
11.65.6 Comment
Government accepts the recommendation.
11.66 Misappropriation involving the sale/lease of Government owned
Enterprise - The State Government at various times between 2011
and 2015 sold/leased the following Government firms and
expended without appropriation:
i. Benue Breweries Ltd. - N 400,000,000.00
ii. Ben Fruits Nig. Ltd. - N 150,000,000.00
iii. Agro Millers Ltd. - N 400,000,000.00
iv. Lobi Cassava Flour Mills - N 24,000,000.00
v. Taraku Mill Ltd. - N 300,000,000.00
vi. Golf Course - N 5,000,000.00
vii. Benue Hotels. - N 12,000,000.00
viii. Fertilizer Blending Plant - N 60,000,000.00
Total amount realized - N1,297,000,000.00
Records from the accounts of the State Ministries of Commerce and
Industries, Agriculture, and Culture and Tourism show that the
funds were withdrawn in cash without accountability.
161
Persons involved Basis of conclusions
Dr. Gabriel Suswam
Hon. Terfa Ihindan
Hon. Egbiri Idaah
Refer to:
CW5 in vol.1
CW27 in vol. 1
Exhibit 35
11.66.1 Recommendation
Dr. Gabriel Suswam and Hon. Terfa Ihindan should jointly and
severally refund the sum of N1,274,000,000.00 (one billion, two
hundred and seventy-four million naira) as contained in
numbers (i) – (v) above.
11.66.2 Comment
Government accepts the recommendation.
11.66.3 Recommendation
Hon. Egbiri Idaah should refund the sum of N5million (five
million naira)received as lease proceeds of the Benue Golf
Course which he misapplied.
11.66.4 Comment
Government accepts the recommendation.
11.67 Receipt and misappropriation of N2.0billion reimbursement
from Federal Government for the Greater Makurdi Water
Works in 2009. This amount was reimbursed and an account
162
opened in the Ministry of Water Resources specifically for the
purpose of warehousing and utilization of the funds on the
Greater Makurdi Water Works. The amount was however,
misappropriated as there is no record that the said funds were
utilized for the specific project. Moreover, the Ministry of Water
Resources could not account for the whereabout of the funds,
despite the fact that the former Commissioner of the Ministry,
Hon. John Ngbede confirmed receipt of such funds.
Statements of accounts submitted by both the Ministry of Water
Resources and the Accountant-General’s Office do not indicate the
account into which this fund was deposited and disbursed.
Persons involved Basis of conclusion
Dr. Gabriel Suswam
Hon. John Ngbede
Refer to:
CW14 in vol. 1
CW18 in vol. 1
11.67.1 Recommendation
Dr. Gabriel Suswam and Hon. John Ngbede should jointly
and severally refund the sum of N2billion (two billion naira
only)
11.67.2 Comment
163
Government accepts the recommendation and further directs that
Dr. Gabriel Suswam and Hon. John Ngbede be prosecuted.
11.68 Illegal deduction of Local Government Council funds of
N26,000,000.00 and payment of same to SPACO Sports:- The
said amount was illegally deducted and paid to Mr. Ugbeh Ter
David, alias Spaco, for no specific purpose. There are also no
records of any contract award for which this payment was made in
the Bureau of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs. The
then Permanent Secretary, Mr. Asen Sambe, who effected the
payment could not provide a satisfactory explanation or
documents relating to the transaction.
Persons involved Basis of conclusion
Hon. Solomon Wombo
Mr. Asen Sambe
Mr. Ugbeh Ter David
Refer to:
CW 71 of vol.1
Exhibit 324.
11.68.1 Recommendation
Hon. Solomon Wombo, Mr. Asen Sambe and Mr. Ugbeh Ter
David (alias Spaco) should jointly and severally refund this sum
of N26,000,000.00 (twenty six million naira only)
11.68.2 Comment
Government accepts the recommendation and further directs that
Hon. Solomon Wombo, Mr. Asen Sambe and Mr. Ugbeh Ter David
(alias Spaco) be prosecuted.
164
11.69 Receipt of N2billion as reimbursement for the construction of
the Otukpo - Oweto Road. The Commission received
information that N2billion was received as reimbursement for the
construction of the Otukpo - Oweto Road during the period
under review. Records from the Office of the Accountant-General
did not reflect receipt of this fund. From the written submission
of the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Works and Transport,
Mr. Ukeyima Gbileve, “records however make mention of reimbursement
of the sum of one billion, nine hundred and ninetyfour
million, six hundred and sixty seven thousand, five hundred
and twelve naira, fifty one kobo (N1,994,667,512.51) which may
have been received in the State Government accounts at the
Ministry of Finance and not the Ministry of Works and Transport
account”.
Persons involved Basis of conclusions
Dr. Gabriel Suswam
Hon. Omadachi Oklobia
Refer to:
Exhibit 364
CW1 in vol. 1
CW2 in vol. 1
11.69.1 Recommendation
Dr. Gabriel Suswam and Hon. Omadachi Oklobia should
jointly and severally refund the sum of N1,994,667,512.51
165
(one billion, nine hundred and ninety-four million, six
hundred and sixty seven thousand, five hundred and twelve
naira, fifty one kobo)
11.69.2 Comment
Government accepts the recommendation and further directs that Dr.
Gabriel Suswam and Hon. Omadachi Oklobia be prosecuted.
11.70 Receipt and disbursement of N58,800,000.00 by
Superintendent Dickson Orlu Pawa. The sum of N50,000,000
(Fifty million Naira) and N8,800,000.00 (Eight million, eight
hundred naira) was received on the 21/5/2014 by the then aidede-
camp (ADC) to the Governor, Mr Pawa from the Ministry of
Finance for an unknown purpose. The ADC however, confirmed
to the Commission that the entire amount was handed over to his
principal, Dr Gabriel Suswam.
Persons involved Basis of conclusions
Dr. Gabriel Suswam
Ref to:
CW 101 in vol. 1
Exhibit 297
Exhibit 298
Exhibit 300
Exhibit 296
Exhibit 296A
Exhibit 296B
166
11.70.1 Recommendation
Dr. Gabriel Suswam to refund this sum of N58,800,000.00
(fifty eight million, eight hundred naira)
11.70.2 Comment
Government accepts the recommendation.
11.71 Payment of N772,858,641.96 to Babcock Electrical Project. The
Commission found that payments amounting to the above sum
were made between 26/6/2008 and 24/7/2012 at various times.
However, the projects in question had earlier been executed and
paid for during previous administrations. Besides, Babcock had
long left before 1999. In fact, Babcock did not execute any
contract during the period under review to warrant such payment.
Persons involved Basis of conclusions
Dr. Gabriel Suswam
Refer to
Exhibit 155.
11.71.1 Recommendation
Dr. Gabriel Suswam should refund the sum of
N772,858,641.96 (seven hundred and seventy two million,
167
eight hundred and fifty eight thousand, six hundred and forty
one naira, ninety six kobo)
11.71.2 Comment
Government accepts the recommendation and further directs that
Dr. Gabriel Suswam be prosecuted.
11.72 Misapplication of N79,845,498.00 received as ICT and Sport
levy. The Ministry of Education collected N47,907,748.00 as ICT
levy and N31,937,750 as sports levy in 2013 and 2015 from
secondary schools in the state. The money was completely
misapplied as Dr. (Mrs) Elizabeth Ugoh, the then Commissioner
and her Director of Planning, Mr. John Weor, could not provide
acceptable evidence of expenditures relating to the fund.
Persons involved Basis of conclusions
Dr. Mrs. Elizabeth Ugoh
Mr. John Weor
Refer to:
Exhibit 366
Exhibit 367
Exhibit 368
Exhibit 369
Exhibit 369A
Exhibit 369B
Exhibit 369C
168
11.72.1 Recommendation
The then Hon. Commissioner, Ministry of Education, Mrs.
Elizabeth Ugoh who approved and directed the collection of the
ICT levy, and Mr. John Weor, who was the Director in charge of
this collection should jointly and severally refund
N47,907,748.00 (forty seven million, nine hundred and seven
thousand, seven hundred and forty eight naira only) that was
collected and misappropriated during her tenure.
11.72.2 Comment
Government accepts the recommendation and further directs that Mr.
John Weor be retired from the Civil Service.
11.72.3 Recommendation
Considering the government policy direction towards free
education, the education levies now in force should be reviewed
downwards.
11.72.4 Comment
Government notes the recommendation
11.73 The Commission found sadly that upon appointment as the
Special Adviser to Governor Suswam in charge of the Bureau of
Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Mr Solomon
Wombo found in the Bureau’s Accountant, Mr Isaiah Ipevnor a
willing collaborator, in the massive looting agenda of Local
169
Government funds by the Suswam Administration. Rather than
release Local Government funds to the Council, the Bureau
released just enough to pay salaries and then used the balance for
irrelevant purposes.
Inspite of the huge sum of over N348billion naira (excluding
UBEC funds) that accrued to that tier of government, most local
government councils survived on obtaining illegal loans at
exorbitant interest rates or even borrowing from the Bureau itself.
Mr Solomon Wombo was the “Lord of the manor” treating the
Local Governments funds like personal cash and even appointing
signatories to ALGON accounts.
The Permanent Secretaries and Mr Isaiah Ipevnor totally side-lined
financial regulations, due process and even money laundering laws.
Persons involved Basis of conclusion
Hon. Solomon Wombo
Mr. Isaiah Ipevnor
Refer to:
The relevant sections of this report
11.73.1 Recommendation
Due to his massive looting of Local Government funds and
mis-governance of the Bureau, Mr. Solomon Wombo is
considered unfit to hold public office. He should in addition
170
to refunding the amount he looted, be barred from holding
public office.
11.73.2 Comment
Government accepts the recommendation.
11.73.3 Recommendation
Mr Isaiah Ipevnor who played an active role in facilitating the
corruption documented in foregoing chapter is equally
considered a corrupt public officer unfit to occupy any office of
trust in the service. He is therefore recommended for dismissal
from the Civil Service of Benue State and in addition to refund
the amount stated against him and others jointly and severally.
11.73.4 Comment
Government accepts the recommendation.
11.74 In chapter 2 of this report, the Commission found that within
the period under review, a total revenue of over one trillion
naira accrued to Benue State. Rather than commensurate value
of development, the Commission has in this and foregoing
Chapters, documented findings of monumental acts of
corruption. The Report is replete with outright looting, reckless
breach of financial regulations and due process. These have bled
the State economy and foisted degenerative poverty and disease
on majority of the State citizenry. The present administration has
171
as a result inherited a crippling debt burden with attendant
adverse effect to the future of the state.
This state of affairs has been wrought on the good people of
Benue State majorly by the former Governor, Dr. Gabriel Torwua
Suswam, his Commissioner of Finance,Hon. Omadachi Oklobia
and the Permanent Secretary, Mrs Ruth Ijir.
Inspite of the deluge of issues raised against Dr. Suswam and Mr.
Oklobia and which were communicated to them, both refused to
appear before the Commission or make representation to clear
their names.
It is particularly noteworthy that Mr. Omadachi Oklobia reached
the zenith of dishonesty when, in connivance with Dr. Suswam,
misled the Stock brokers into paying proceeds of sale of shares
into an account belonging to a Bureau de change operator which
he misrepresented to be a project account of the Ministry of
Finance. For a man charged with custody of the finances of the
State, this is to say the least, unfortunate.
Persons involved Basis of conclusions
Dr. Gabriel Suswam
Hon. Omadachi Oklobia
Mrs. Ruth M. Ijir
Refer to:
Relevant sections of this report
172
11.74.1 Recommendation
For perpetrating the amount of corruption never before
known in the history of Benue State, the Commission
recommends that Dr. Gabriel Torwua Suswam and Mr.
Omadachi Oklobia are not fit to hold public office and should
in addition to refunding the sums looted, be barred from
holding public office.
11.74.2 Comment
Government accepts the recommendation.
11.74.3 Recommendation
As the Accounting officer of the Ministry of Finance, the
Commission blames Mrs Ruth Ijir particularly for completely
side-lining financial regulations and due process in the conduct
of government financial affairs within the period under review.
She is therefore not considered fit to occupy public office and
should be compulsorily retired from the civil service of Benue
State.
11.74.4 Comment
Government accepts the recommendation.
11.75 Prima Facie evidence of Sundry criminal offence.
173
The Commission found that besides the recoveries recommended
against the various persons in their report prima facie evidence
suggesting contract padding/inflation, embezzlement,
misappropriation, misapplication, approval above limit,
expenditure without appropriation, expenditure without approval,
breach of the code of conduct for public officers abuse of financial
instructions and regulations, etc have been established.
11.75.1 Recommendation
Persons indicted in this report should be referred to the
relevant anti- graft and security agencies for prosecution for
the various offences established against them.
11.75.2 Comment
Government accepts the recommendation and further directs that the
following persons are also barred from holding any public office in
Benue State because of acts of gross abuse of office established against
them. They are: Emmanuel O. Atini, Asen Sambe, Andy Uwoukwu,
Joseph Kpaakpa and Terfa Ihindan.
174
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
The Government of Benue State in accepting the Committee’s Report seizes this
opportunity to express its appreciation to the Chairman, members and Secretary
for their painstaking efforts for producing the Report on which this White Paper is
based.
Government has taken into consideration observations, findings and
recommendations of the Committee and will ensure that all the accepted
recommendations are implemented without delay.

BENUE PROBE:The Full Report And How Much Each Person is to Refund BENUE PROBE:The Full Report And How Much Each Person is to Refund Reviewed by Link Naija on 00:33:00 Rating: 5

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