Home NEWS Benue Gov, Ortom, Accuses Ex Gov. Akume, Of Misappropriating N4.5 Billion

Benue Gov, Ortom, Accuses Ex Gov. Akume, Of Misappropriating N4.5 Billion

Samuel Ortom

The Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom has accused the former Governor of the State, now Senator George Akume of misappropriating over N4.5 Billion when he was Governor.

The alleged financial fraud ranged from misappropriation of public funds, approvals above limit, abuse of office and public trust to sale of 33,440,818 units of shares at the Benue Investment and Property Company (BIPC).

In a petition to the antigraft agencies, Governor Ortom wanted Akume, who is now the Minister of Special Duties and Intergovernmental, to be investigated for financial impropriety amounting to  N4,556,899,632.9.

The petitioner alleged that the shares, which were valued at billions of naira, were sold without recourse to due process.

A letter of complaint to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC); Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) and the Inspector General of Police, was written and signed by counsel to the Benue State Government, Okeoga Darlington, Esq and made available to newsmen by the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Barrister Michael Gusa.

The letter of complaint which was generated from an audit report, spanning 1999 – 2007 when Senator George Akume served as Governor, said he unilaterally approved the sum of N117 million which was above his approval limit without recourse to the State Executive Council meeting.

According to the letter, the reckless financial expenditures were for consultancy and feasibility study for Mbatiav Cement which turned out to be a white elephant.

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The project, the petitioner claimed, never saw the light of the day.

The petitioner also alleged financial indiscipline, abuse of fiscal policies and misappropriation for various contracts amounting to N3,125,882,409.25 billion.

The former Governor was also accused of misappropriation of ecological funds amounting to N300,002,000 million, which was spent on projects different from ecological projects.

During the audit report, it was also discovered that on the watch of the former Governor, a loan of N150 million was taken from defunct Afri-Bank in December 2000 for purchase of shares in companies but the money was transferred to All Securities Limited for which no receipts were found for the transaction.

It was also discovered during the audit that the former Governor Akume claimed to have executed ‘many projects’ that were never located which the petition deemed to be an aberration of due process, abuse of fiscal policies and criminal violation of relevant laws.

“Regrettably, many of such projects, valued at N1,074,017,023.65 billion were not accounted for as there was no evidence of their execution anywhere.”

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