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News - North Central - Benue Updated: March 31, 2023

Benue: APC Accuses Ortom Of Embezzlement Through Hasty Contract Awards 

By Maureen Okpe
March 31, 2023
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The All Progressive Congress (APC) has accused the Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom of embezzling state funds under the guise of contract awards.   

This was disclosed by the party state chairman, Austin Agada, during a press briefing in Makurdi, the Benue State capital on Friday.   

Agada stated that reports from reliable sources disclosed that the outgoing Ortom-led PDP government has embarked on emergency awards of contracts worth billions of Naira.

"The Benue State Government through the commissioner of Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr Mike Inalegwu disclosed to reporters that the government plans to build an Airport at Kura, along Naka Road, about 12 kilometres from Makurdi town.

"The Airport will be built near the Industrial Layout so that Cargoes from the Airport could be moved easily. 

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"We recall that on the 29th October 2016, Governor Samuel Ortom led PDP administration flagged off 38 billion naira Cargo Airport in Daudu, Guma Local Government, a project he assured will be completed in 18 months, 4 years after with no visible site of an airport, Governor Ortom while presenting the 2020 budget announced the rewarding of the same Cargo Airport to another company for 12 billion, with extra 3 billion as compensation to land owners which reportedly didn't get to the actual owners of the gazetted lands. 

"The 38 billion naira contract and it's 12 billion naira reawarding all squashed with the flagging of a Mega City for Internally Displaced Persons which has also gone moribund, how do we trust a government that has buried chunk of tax payers money into an unrealistic Cargo Airport for almost 8 years despite promising it's completion in 18 months to build for the state an airport in just 2 months. 

"We are aware that the government is awarding contracts and back-dating same, as well as backdating employment letters, we also have information on other massive illicit financial dealings ongoing within the government, including alleged falsification of financial documents amongst others.

"In derivation of the above we wish to state that the above decision by the outgoing PDP government in Benue State to build an airport is malevolent, malicious, and ill-timed with reference to the incoming government which was not consulted, informed, or involved in the deliberations for a new state contract as it is rationally expected under a transitional political arrangement. 

"The party wishes to advice all consultants and contractors to refrain from entering into such deals with the outgoing administration.

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"This is necessary because the Rev. Fr. Dr Hyacinth Alia's administration will not be held accountable for any nefarious contractual obligations. 

"We hereby warn Financial Institutions, Permanent Secretaries, MDA's, Ministry of Finance, and Office of the Accountant State General that are collaborating with the outgoing government to increase Benue indebtedness through loans, overdrafts or other financial obligations to stop forthwith, as this will be viewed as financial sabotage to the incoming administration."

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Maureen Okpe

Maureen is a media practitioner and an impeccable writer with close to 4 years active experience wor...

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