N23bn Fraud: Ortom faults EFCC investigation, says he will be exonerated

Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom yesterday faulted the Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC) over its claim that more than N23billion in some state accounts were withdrawn and diverted.

He asked the anti-graft agency to stop publishing figures without stating how impropriety has been established.

He expressed regrets that EFCC is acting like a Strike squad of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

He said any genuine, fair, just and equitable investigation will surely exonerate him.

Governor Ortom made its position known in a statement by Terver Akase, who is his Chief Press Secretary.

The governor challenged the EFCC to release more details if it had its facts right.

He said: “It released figures allegedly withdrawn from the Benue State Government accounts without disclosing the dates of the withdrawals and the period during which they were made.

“The Commission has also not been able to state accounts into which such monies withdrawn were paid to prove that the funds had been diverted.

“EFCC is contented with publishing the figures without stating how impropriety has been established.

“Are government monies supposed to be kept in the accounts indefinitely without expenditure?

“Their objective is apparently to give Governor Samuel Ortom and his administration a bad name.”

The statement accused the EFCC of turning into a strike squad of the APC for torment.

It said: “On this score, it is clear that the EFCC has now become both a strike squad of the APC for torment, and their law court for the trial and conviction of political opponents.

“Only an agency which has the mandate of ruining the reputation of persons perceived to be political opponents of the ruling party would descend to the low level the EFCC is currently heading to, by circulating figures in the conduct of a media trial of Governor Ortom.

“The agency has ridiculously assumed the role of a law court by passing judgments over political opponents as it is doing at the moment against the Governor.

“Perhaps, only in this country can such impunity be encouraged by the government at the centre.

“EFCC should be ashamed to have lied to Nigerians that it began investigation of the present administration in Benue State two years ago.”

The Governor alleged witch-hunting because he defected from the All Progressives Congress (APC).

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