Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has allegedly refused the plea bargain proposal by the embattled speaker of Benue State House of Assembly, Terkimbi Ikyange, and 14 other lawmakers who said they were ready to return the loot to avoid being arraigned in court.
A highly placed source at the commission yesterday told Nigerian Pilot that the embattled speaker had personally proposed to the team of interrogators who grilled him during his four days stay in custody of the EFCC.
According to the source, the acting chairman of the commission, Ibrahim Magu has vehemently opposed the proposal, saying it was not known to law, insisting that the lawmakers must be charged to court.
He said already the Legal Department of the EFCC were currently working on charges against the lawmakers bordering on fraud, forgery and theft that would be filed against them before a Federal High Court in Makurdi, immediately after the annual vacation of judges.
The EFCC two weeks ago grilled some members of the Benue State House of Assembly over alleged looting of N750million public funds.
All the disbursement of the N750m cash was allegedly personally carried out by the embattled deputy speaker, Hon James Okefe.
The source had last week told our correspondent that the operatives of the commission were investigating Hon. Ikyange over alleged fresh N500mllion loot allegedly found in his personal account in a new generation bank.
Meanwhile, Governor Samuel Ortom of the state had commended operatives of the EFCC for investigating the speaker and other members of the state House of Assembly for allegedly misappropriating the N750 million meant for purchase of official cars.
The governor said his government would not condone any act of criminality or defend anyone who had a hand in fraud.
Nigerian Pilot recalls that Speaker Ikyange, his deputy, James Ikefe, the majority leader, Benjamin Adanyi, deputy majority leader, Nick Eworo, the minority leader, Sule Audu and 10 other members were arrested and detained since Monday last week in Abuja by the EFCC, before some were granted bail on Wednesday and Friday last week.
It was also gathered that though they were let off the hook via bail Wednesday evening last week after spending three days in detention, another seven members were summoned by commission to appear for questioning on Friday last week and later were granted administrative bail.
Answering questions from State House correspondents after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the presidential Villa, Abuja, Governor Ortom said in a matter of corruption, no one would be spared.
He said: “Yes it is a good thing; it is part of the process. They are under investigation by the EFCC. From day one I brought up a slogan that ‘if you chop money, money will chop you.
“We have to be careful and I have sent signals to all that nobody is above the law. If you do wrong, you will go your own way. As far as I’m concerned, they are under investigation. Let’s see the outcome we would have. As far as I’m concerned, my government will not shield anybody who is corrupt and who is found wanting. From myself as governor and every other lieutenant, we are opened to scrutiny.
“EFCC is an agency that is charged to investigate and where somebody is found culpable you prosecute. So they are free to do their job in Benue State. I have given them free hand: ICPC, EFCC, and even for me I am doing independent prosecution of those who are corrupt,” he said.

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