The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has launched a probe into the Benue State government after allegations that over N20bn have been laundered under the watch of Governor Samuel Ortom.
According to sources close to the investigation, the EFCC they discovered about N20bn were withdrawn from four bank accounts operated by the Benue State government from June 2015 to March 2018.
They alleged that the funds were laundered through several N10m withdrawals within two days from the ‘Benue State Government House Account’ opened specifically for the purpose.
According to documents seen by Daily Trust, the accounts were said to have received over N1.9bn between June 2015 and March 2018. The EFCC said records show that three Benue State government officials – Emmanuel Aorga, Patrick Abah and Ochaja Peter – made several withdrawals depleting the bank accounts.
The EFCC added that the withdrawals were done monthly immediately after the accounts were credited by the FAAC.
So far, cashiers and accountants invited and interrogated have disclosed that the monies were taken to their respective permanent secretaries.
Furthermore, the EFCC said it is investigating the diversion of about N275m meant for purchase of 30 Prado Jeeps as official vehicles for members of the Benue State House of Assembly.
Meanwhile Ortom’s media aide Terver Akase dismissed as false the allegations that monies have been diverted in the state.
He said the governor is being hounded for quitting the All Progressives Congress and joining the opposition Peoples Democratic Party.