Yesterday, QUEENDOOSH reported how the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, froze all the five bank accounts which are being operated by the government of Benue state.
A staff with the Benue state government who spoke with Queendoosh on anonymity said, we are finished Queen,all the states accounts have been frozen. This is unacceptable.
However, the Nigerian Concord, has tabled down some of the reasons why the accounts must have been frozen. The news platform reported that a high ranking officer of the agency was to ensure that further funds are not withdrawn by the state governor, Samuel Ortom, pending the outcome of the ongoing investigations into the illegal withdrawal of N22 billion from the said accounts.
The officer also made it known that the agency has secured a valid court order which was presented to all the banks for necessary actions.
He added that the banks too had communicated the demand by the EFCC to freeze the accounts to the Benue state government through the office of the state Attorney General, Mr. Mike Gusa.
Sources said, the accounts that were frozen were UBA with account number 1017348051 and GTB with account number 0027952907 which belong to the Benue State Government House.
Other accounts were UBA with account number 1007540119 and First Bank with account number 2023788057 which are operated by the Benue state Bureau of Internal Affairs and Special Services.
The fifth account was the Fidelity Bank with account number 5030058730 which belongs to the Joint State Local Government. The source stated that this particular account was frozen because the governor had illegally withdrawn N1.328 billion.
The governor’s brother-in-law, Mr. Oliver Mtom, had confessed to the EFCC during interrogation that he withdrew N19bn from the First Bank account with number 2023788057 which belongs to the Bureau of Internal Affairs and Special Services.
Mtom had also confessed that he withdrew the said funds based on instructions of the Permanent Secretary of the agency, Boniface Nyaakor.
The said N19 billion, which was allegedly withdrawn by Mtom under the pretext of security votes was diverted while the memos written in respect of the withdrawal were destroyed.
The first lady’s brother also confessed that he did withdraw as high as N500 million in a day by cashing several cheques worth N10 million each.
Boniface Nyaakor, had during interrogation confessed that anytime security agencies requested funds, he would approach Governor Ortom who would ask him to write a memo to that effect.
Meanwhile, the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Samuel Ortom, Terver Akase,confirming the development,said it was part of agenda to cripple the state. He said;
“Yes, it is part of the evil agenda to cripple the state. It is only in Benue that the EFCC is probing the security vote of the governor,” he said.
Also, some Nigerians are alleging that the action maybe connected to his recent defection to the Opposition, Peoples Democratic Party.