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Benue probe: Suswam in another mess

Written By Idoma Television on Wednesday, March 9, 2016 | 12:04:00 AM

The sale and lease of government property during the tenure of Governor Gabriel Suswam administration was carried without due process and compliance with procurement guidelines, the administrative commission of inquiry and assets verification in Benue state has submitted.

Governor Samuel Ortom had on assumption of office inaugurated two judicial panel to investigate alleged stolen funds and verify sale, lease and allocation of assets during the Suswam administration.

But Suswam had swiftly petitioned the constitution of the probe panel by Ortom and saying the action was a political witch hunt and a deliberate ploy to denigrate him.

However, chairman of administrative commission for assets verification, Barrister Moses Atagher yesterday submitted the assets verification report to Governor Ortom at the People’s House Makurdi.

According to Atagher, the commission found that the policy behind the lease and sale of government enterprises and other property to private operators which, he stated was to stimulate economic growth and create jobs was however structured illegally.

He said most of the assets leased and allocated including the Agro millers and Yuteco foods were auctioned for its inability to pay bank debts of N110m and N125m respectively.

He said the commission also discovered an act of property laundering on GP 33 at Old GRA Makurdi, allegedly allocated to one Terna Suswam and urged government to take urgent actions as to recovering them.

In his response, Governor Ortom said he would immediately set up a committee to prepare white paper and that once it is ready with recommendations, the report would be implemented to enable it recover the alleged allotted assets.

He further insisted that the probe of the Suswam administration was not in anyway a witch hunt but to ensure that alleged illegal allotted assets were valued with compliance to the lawful procedures of enterprise procurement.

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