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ECONOMIC and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, yesterday quizzed the embattled deputy speaker of Benue State House of Assembly, Hon. James Ejembi Okefe, and the House majority leader, Hon Benjamin Adanyi, following a fresh discovery of alleged fraud in the N750million car scam that rocks the state Assembly. They were being held in custody when the operatives of the EFCC discovered that the three PDP lawmakers that were detained in respect of the loot didn’t benefitted from the largesse; rather it was after their protest that led to the arrest of the House leadership that the governor called the PDP lawmakers in his capacity and gave them N10million each. The EFCC, after the shocking discovery on Sunday, granted unconditional bail on self-recognition to three members of the Assembly, Honourables Terna-Kester Kyenge, Dominic Ucha and Terseer Adzuu representing Logo, Tiev and Guma state constituencies respectively. A highly placed EFCC source revealed that however, the EFCC which was widely expected to arraign the trio in court even last week discovered in the course of their investigation that they were totally innocent of any complicity in the fraud and consequently set them free without any conditions attached. The three lawmakers, who are members of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, are said to have been denied their share of N12.5 million each from the N750 million which was shared to members of the Assembly by the House leadership for the purchase of official vehicles. This was after Majority Leader Adanyi openly boasted to them that they would be denied their share of the largesse as punishment for their perceived antagonistic posture towards Speaker Ikyange. But Governor Samuel Ortom is said to have waded into the matter to forestall further acrimony and sent through the majority leader the sum of N10 million to each of the three lawmakers to purchase their own official vehicles. After setting the three PDP lawmakers free, the EFCC in turn invited Adany, who as at time of this report was about being taken into custody at the anti-graft agency’s headquarters in Abuja, for further. According to sources, the majority leader will be required by the EFCC to throw light on the whereabouts of over N112.5 million being monies arbitrarily deducted by the leadership of the House from the car deal. A breakdown of the arbitrary deductions shows that the contract sum for a vehicle per each House member was put at N13.9 million, out of which N1.4 million was deducted per member as 10 percent handling charge, leaving the sum of N12.5 million per member for a vehicle. However, each member is said to have received the sum of N10 million in cash for their vehicles, with N2.5 million taken from each member’s share by Adanyi allegedly on instructions from Speaker Ikyange while the trio of Kyenge, Ucha and Adzuu were out-rightly denied their share as a punitive measure for their perceived anti-Ikyange stance on issues in the House. As at the time of filing in this report, the embattled deputy speaker and the house majority leader were still being detained at the Idiagbon block of the EFCC headquarters in Abuja.

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