BENUE, SEPTEMBER 2, 2016 – Fifty-two ex-Benue State officials and 10 corporate organisations are being hunted by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission, EFCC over alleged looting of the State’s Treasury to the tune of N107 billion.Nine of the officials are said to have been arrested by the EFCC in connection with the looted fund.
Punch quoted the Benue State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Bashkir Makama, on Thursday as saying that nine persons out of the 52 indicted by the Justice Elizabeth Kpojime Commission of Inquiry had been arrested.
He said the EFCC, in conjunction with the police arrested and detained them at the State Police Headquarters, Makurdi, before taking them to the Force Headquarters in Abuja for further investigation and subsequent prosecution.
“It is part of the process to recover the alleged N107 bn looted from the Benue State treasury by 52 individuals and 10 corporate organisations in the last administration as reported to the anti-graft agency by Governor Samuel Ortom,” he said.
Those arrested were former Governor Gabriel Suswam’s Special Adviser, Bureau of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Prince Solomon Wombo; a former Permanent Secretary of the bureau, Mr. Asen Sambe, and the accountant, Mr. Isaiah Ipevnor.
Others were Janet Aluga, Moses Detso, Peter Ochoga, James Gera, Aorga Emmanuel and a former Legal Adviser of the Benue Investment and Property Company, Mr. John Tyokegh.
According to Punch, Wombo reported himself to the police at the Force Headquarters in Abuja and is currently being detained there.
Punch quoted an anonymous EFFC operative as saying that one of those indicted by the Kpojime Commission, Mr. Richard Gbande, escaped when the police went to arrest him but that his two cars were impounded.
He revealed that a large amount of money and ammunition were recovered from the houses of some of those arrested.
Benue State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Michael Gusa, who also confirmed the arrests, stated that the Ortom administration would do everything legally possible to recover the looted funds.