EFCC Goes After Former Aides Of Suswam Over N107 Billion Fraud

Former Benue State Governor, Gabriel Suswam
Former Benue State Governor, Gabriel Suswam

Some of the former aides of Gabriel Suswam, immediate past governor of Benue State, indicted by the commission of inquiry set up by Governor Samuel Ortom, have been arrested.

Bashkir Makama, the state commissioner of police, made this revelation on Thursday.

Governor Ortom had vowed to recover about N107 billion allegedly embezzled by the Gabriel Suswam administration after the commission of inquiry headed by Justice Elizabeth Kpojime, submitted its report early this year.

The commission indicted 52 individuals and some corporate organisations, nine of whom have so far been arrested.

The state police commissioner said the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission,EFCC, in conjunction with the police arrested and detained the suspects at the State Police Headquarters, Makurdi, and later moved them to the Force Headquarters in Abuja for further investigation and subsequent prosecution.

Makama said, “It is part of the process to recover the alleged  N107 billion 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.’’

Among the people arrested were former Governor Suswam’s Special Adviser, Bureau of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Solomon Wombo, a former Permanent Secretary of the bureau, Asen Sambe, and the accountant, 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,  John Tyokegh.

Makama noted that Wombo reported himself to the police at the Force Headquarters in Abuja and is currently being detained there.






     

     

    One of the security operatives, who pleaded anonymity, said that one of those indicted by the Kpojime Commission, Richard Gbande, escaped when the police went to arrest him but 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.

    The Benue State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Michael Gusa, who also confirmed the arrests, stated that the Ortom administration will not relent in recovering the looted funds.

    “I want to assure the people of the state that after the recovery of the money, it would be channelled towards the development of the state as well as the clearing of all salaries and other entitlements owed workers and pensioners,” Gusa said.

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