Benue State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has urged Governor Samuel Ortom to extend the ongoing probe of the administration of Gabriel Suswam to that of Sen. George Akume, since the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has also accepted to look into Akume’s administration.
“Just as the EFCC has accepted to look into the stewardship of the Akume administration in its dealing with the petition before it against Rt. Hon. Suswam, so also must Ortom summon the courage and accept the responsibility to do the needful by extending his probe dragnet to cover the tenure of administration of his god-father, George Akume, as governor of the state between 1999 and 2007.”
Briefing newsmen at the party secretariat yesterday, the state deputy chairman of the party, Dr Tsetim Ayargwer said it became impossible to probe the Suswam administration without probing the administration of his predecessor, George Akume, considering the circumstances which surrounded the transition of power between the two administrations.
“To make the probe exercise selective and limited is to vitiate its fundamental objectives and reduce it to a mere smoke-screen and at worst, a witch-hunting tool in the hand of the ruling administration; and in this wise, we urge the APC-controlled government of both Benue State and Nigeria to resist the temptation to use the sacred instrumentality of probe to settle political scores as doing so would only serve to stymie the growth and progress achieved by the PDP in sixteen years of its control of political power in the country.”
But Gov Ortom has repeatedly said that he would not probe a government he did not take over from or receive its handover note.
According to the party, while the Ortom administration is indulging in this game of PDP and Suswam-blaming, it is desperately attempting to conceal from the people a fetid morass of maladministration and serial mismanagement of public funds which has so far prominently manifested in a number of instances.
This, Ayargwer said, included the receipt of N10 billion from a commercial bank with high interest rate and in addition, the sum of N2.7 billion which was received from Liquefied Natural Gas, LNG, proceeds, where the larger part of the monies, instead of being used to offset salary arrears, was allegedly spent on servicing of political interests both within and outside the state.
The PDP boss also alleged fraud in the presentation of N28.5 billion by the Ortom administration as the sums of N3.5 billion and N2.9 billion which expenditure reports had been tendered from the N10 billion it collected from the commercial bank are still captured in the bailout funds.
But Tahav Agerzua, the special adviser to Gov Ortom on Media and ICT, described the submission by PDP as speculative since there was no document to substantiate the claims.


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