Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State has debunked the allegation that officials of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) were in the state to ascertain facts on the disappearance of the milling machines donated by the Korean Government to the former administration in the state.
Governor Ortom, in an interactive session with journalists at the People’s House in Makurdi at the weekend, stated that contrary to the belief in some quarters that the anti-graft commission came to investigate his administration, nothing of such happened.
“For avoidance of doubt, let me reiterate that we have no skeletons in our cupboard even the said diversion of N37 million as alleged by Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) which was raised recently is not accurate as the said money was judiciously used in offsetting arrears,” he explained.
He, however, added that the EFCC came to verify information on the disappearance of ten milling machines that were donated to Benue State during the administration of Gabriel Suswam in 2012 as relief materials to the victims of the flood disaster in the state.
“So for anybody to insinuate that the EFCC operatives were after my aides is not true’’, he said, pointing out that the N12.5 billion collected to offset the inherited arrears from the former administration was adequately paid to the civil servants, and there is even a balance of N1.6 billion still left in the coffers.”
He also avowed the determination of his administration to report former Governor Gabriel Suswam and 51 others who were indicted in the Justice Margaret Kpojime Commission for allegedly looting the state treasury of over N170 billion.
“Frankly there is no other option left than to forward their case to the anti graft agency, we did all we could within the ambit of the law for those mentioned in the complicity but they refused to appear to defend themselves, all efforts fell on deaf ears.”