Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, on Wednesday raised the alarm over alleged continued persecution by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
Ortom who spoke through his Chief Press Secretary, Terver Akase, claimed that the commission had continued to ground the state government with invitation of government officials to EFCC’s office.
The anti-graft agency had few weeks ago disclosed that it was investigating the state government’s expenditure of N22bn.
Few days after, the governor through his Chief Press Secretary said that the state accounts had been frozen by the anti-graft agency.
He was reported as saying then, “Yes, it is true that accounts of the Benue State Government have been frozen by the EFCC. It is part of the political witch-hunt against Governor Samuel Ortom. The action of the EFCC is already having negative impact on the running of government in Benue State. It is a move that will affect 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.”
Speaking on the new development, the governor 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?”