By Terver Akase

The Benue State Government has commenced investigation into N44 billion believed to have been diverted by the previous administration led by Gabriel Suswam.
Governor Samuel Ortom made this known today during the thanksgiving mass and fund raising for the building of St. Ignatius Catholic Mission, Ukpo-Ayar, Mbalom in Gwer-East LGA of the state, organised in honour of the member, Benue State House of Assembly representing the area, Hon. Stephen Tyochir.
Governor Ortom said the decision followed the report and white paper on the Justice Elizabeth Kpojime Judicial Commission of Inquiry which urged his administration to carry out further investigation into N44,721,553,457.00 which preliminary checks indicated gross misappropriation by the immediate past administration.
He disclosed that the N450 million the State Government last week requested former Governor Suswam to refund having inappropriately received the said amount as 'overhead arrears' was part of the N44 billion under investigation.
The Governor reaffirmed the commitment of his administration to transparency and accountability, stressing that the battle against corruption will be won.
Governor Ortom who commended Hon. Stephen Tyochir as a hardworking man, assured the people of Mbalom that the road which passes through their area and other development projects will be executed.
Earlier, the Speaker, Benue State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Terkimbi Ikyange, sued for patience and understanding, assuring the people of the state that the APC administration will not disappoint them. He said the current economic challenges will be tackled and the people will reap the fruits of their decision to support change.
Hon. Stephen Tyochir while thanking God for His blessing upon him, called on good spirited individuals and groups to support the efforts being made to build a befitting Church in the area.
In a sermon, the Dean, Ikpayongo Deanery, Reverend Father Amos Mbachie, urged Christians to live by the truth as only the truth shall make a society great.
Others who spoke at the event included the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Barrister Michael Gusa, former governorship aspirations in the state, Chief Akange Audu and Hon. Hingah Biem, Special Adviser on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Hon. Titus Zam, Caretaker Chairman, Kwande local government area, Mrs. Helen Ikpambese and Chairman, Benue State Board of Internal Revenue Service, Mrs Mimi Azape-Orubibi.

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