The Benue State Government has asked the anti graft agencies in the country to investigate the Minister of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs, George Akume over alleged financial impropriety amounting to about N4,556,899,632.9 billion naira when he served as Governor.
The petition alleged financial fraud which ranges from misappropriation of public funds, approvals above limit, abuse of office and public trust also include sale of 33,440,818 units of shares at the Benue Investment and Property Company, BIPC, also valued at billions of naira without recourse to due process.
The letter of complaint to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC; Independent Corrupt Practices Commission, ICPC and the Inspector General of Police, was written and signed by Counsels to the Benue State Government, Okeoga Darlington and made available to newsmen by the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Michael Gusa.
The letter of complaint which according to an official of the state government was generated from an audit report spanning 1999 – 2007 when Senator George Akume served as Governor, alleged that he approved the sum of N117 million which is above his approval limit without recourse to the State Executive Council meeting.
The financial expenditures were said to be for consultancy and feasibility study for Mbatiav Cement which turned out to be a white elephant project that never saw the light of the day.
The petition also alleged financial indiscipline, abuse of fiscal policies and misappropriation for various contracts amounting to N3,125,882,409.25 billion.
The former Governor was also accused of misappropriation of ecological funds amounting to N300,002,000 million which was spent on projects different from ecological projects.
The petition also alleged that during the audit report, it was also discovered that under the watch of the former Governor, a loan of N150 million was taken from defunct Afri-Bank in December 2000 for purchase of shares in companies but the money was transferred to All Securities Limited for which no receipts were found for the transaction.
The counsel further alleged that it was also discovered during the audit that the former Governor Akume claimed to have executed ‘many projects’ that were never located which the petition deemed to be an aberration of due process, abuse of fiscal policies and criminal violation of relevant laws.
A breakdown of the figures according to the petition, revealed that many of such projects, valued at N1,074,017,023.65 billion were not accounted for as there was no evidence of their execution anywhere.
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