Benue State governor, Samuel Ortom has regretted the perceived persecution of the state government by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), decrying the new development where the anti-graft agency now demands minutes of his government’s Security Council meetings.
The governor, who claimed in a statement through his Chief Press Secretary, Terver Akase, that the commission had continued to ground the state government, lamented that the victimisation has reached a ridiculous level with such a request.
The EFCC had few weeks ago, soon after the governor dumped the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) for the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), begin investigation of the Benue government’s expenditure of N22 billion.
The commission at a point froze the government accounts, a development Ortom had then described as part of the political witch-hunt against his government, saying that the action was already having negative impact on the running of government in the state in the areas of payment of salaries, pensions and other sundry payments.
“The question we are asking is: why did EFCC not investigate the governor’s security votes when he was still a member of the APC? Why start the investigation now?
“EFCC should not allow itself to be used as an attack dog unleashed against perceived political opponents. Let the Federal Government tell us how much it has spent on prosecuting the fight against Boko Haram and how much it spent on other operations such as Python Dance, Crocodile Smile and Whirl Stroke,” the government had then said.
Making known the current situation of things between his government and the anti-graft agency on Wednesday, Ortom said, “EFCC is still victimising the state because what happens now is that every day, the commission invites not fewer than seven government officials to Abuja. Government activities have been grounded. The victimisation has reached a ridiculous level now as the commission is demanding minutes of the Security Council meetings.
“The level at which EFCC is pushing its persecution of Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, is ridiculous. No day passes without the commission adding one more angle to their harassment of Benue officials.
“Their latest move is the demand for minutes of the Benue State Security Council meetings. Does the statutory mandate of the commission include regulation of states’ security affairs?”
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