Former Governor of Benue State, Dr Gabriel Torwua Suswam, yesterday said report of the probe panel into his eight -year tenure as chief executive of the state released at the weekend was predetermined to tarnish his image and reduce his political relevance.
Reacting to the report submitted to the state government last Friday, Suswam said he was not surprised at the recommendations of the panel, adding he knew from the onset that he would not be given fair hearing.
The former governor said when the commission was inaugurated, he pointed out the fact that apart from the chairman, its membership was populated by partisan members of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, who were already biased against him.
This he said informed his decision to approach the Makurdi High Court in a suit seeking to stop the Tribunal from carrying out the premeditated task.
“The recommendation that I and 51 officials who served in various capacities and 10 corporate organizations should refund N107billion to the Benue State Government is laughable, unrealistic and the testimony of political witch hunt as no such money could have been taken out of government treasury under any circumstances during my stay in office.
“I want to make it abundantly clear that no such financial improprieties as contained in the report existed in the administration I superintended over.
“These figures are non-existent and are a product of the imagination of the authors of that report,” he stressed.
The former governor said the report has proven right, his earlier suspicion that the present state government headed by Dr Samuel Ortom, was desperately looking for any flimsy justification to ridicule him before the right thinking members of the public for political gains.
“The probe panel was a wild goose chase. How could the state government probe all the eight years of our administration from the very first day to the last day in office? Does it mean everything we did in office as an elected government with the popular mandate of the people was wrong? Does it mean we didn’t have the mandate as an elected government to execute projects or deliver on our promises?” the former governor queried.
According to him, the achievements of his administration were verifiable and very much on ground for all to see, adding that he transformed the rural economy of the state through the provision of roads, bridges, electricity, water projects, health and educational facilities.
“If you go to the rural areas, the roads we constructed are there. We provided electricity to about 150 communities; we built giant water projects in Makurdi, Otukpo, and Katsina-Ala. We built five new General Hospitals and rehabilitated all existing General Hospitals in the local government areas of the state, we built three Technical Colleges and completed the Benue State University Teaching Hospital, procured the equipment and recruited the staff to pave way for the final accreditation of the Faculty of Medicine which is being mischievously celebrated today by the State Government as its achievement.
“In addition, we built and commissioned the Faculty of Law complex at the Benue State University. These are just but a few of projects we successfully executed.
“We spent Benue’s money judiciously on capital projects, most of which were completed and commissioned. It is incorrect and absurd for the probe panel or anybody to conclude that we spent only 15 per cent of the state’s resources on capital projects that were abandoned”, the former governor explained.
Dr Suswam said, apart from engaging some of the best contractors to execute jobs, he personally visited project sites in the company of technical officials to ensure that projects were delivered to specifications and that Benue people got value for all monies paid contractors.
“The report of this probe panel is outlandish in its paucity of truth, justice and fairness. It remains an instrument of witch hunt and should be discarded for its gross deficit in objectivity and integrity,” he stated.

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