Benue Blames EFCC Over Inability to Pay Salaries

The Benue State government has blamed its inability to pay salaries due to the freezing of its account by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The state government Wednesday said that funds meant to pay the salaries of workers and pensioners have been frozen in commercial bank accounts.
“Accounts of the Benue State Government have been frozen by EFCC,” Terver Akase, spokesman to Samuel Ortom, Benue State Governor, said in a statement.
“It is part of the political witch-hunt against Governor Samuel Ortom. The action of EFCC is already having negative impact on the running of government in Benue State. It is a move that will affect salaries, pensions and other sundry payments,” Akase said.
“The question we are asking is; why did EFCC not investigate the Governor’s security votes when he was still a member of APC? Why start the investigation now?
“EFCC should not allow itself to be used as an attack dog unleashed against perceived political opponents.
“Let the Federal Government tell us how much it has spent on prosecuting the fight against Boko Haram and how much it spent on the other operations such as Python Dance, Crocodile Smile and Whirl Stroke.
“Benue has suffered heavy attacks by Fulani herdsmen since the beginning of the year. Within the period, the State Government has spent a lot to legitimately support security agencies to protect the people of the state. Governor Ortom has not diverted funds. He runs a transparent administration.
“We welcome the investigation, but as I said earlier, it should start from the presidency and go across the 36 states. Benue should not be singled out for victimisation, intimidation and harassment as the federal government with its agencies is currently doing,” Akase said in the statement.
There has been reports that the EFCC was investigating Ortom for up to N22bn in security funds which allegedly disappeared under suspicious circumstances.
The Governor has denied the allegations, saying they were among a desperate plot to oust him as Governor.
He said the plot was because of his recent defection from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party.

Author: News Editor

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