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Ortom sacks staff over financial impropriety

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Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom

…S.A Commends Medical Personnel For Swift Response To Fire Victims
Benue State Executive Council (SEC) has approved the immediate removal of Terhide Utaan as the state focal person for the Social Investment Programme. The decision was arrived at after the SEC meeting presided over by Governor Ortom.

Briefing newsmen, Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Lawrence Onoja Jr, said the suspension of Utaan followed a complaint from the National Social Investment office accusing him of poor coordination and misappropriation of funds. Onoja said the exco has appointed Terry Damsa to act pending the conclusion of investigations.

Meanwhile, allegations are rife in some quarters that the office of the Social Investment office may have been engulfed in gross financial misappropriation. In one of such instance, it is alleged that the office connived with Sterling Bank to force poor food Vendors to pay 20,000 and above to open up accounts with the bank. Benue Social Investment office also connived with First City Monumental Bank to force vendors to pay N5000 as account opening fee.

Furthermore, it was gathered that in April, the Director of Security Services got a report that Benue State Social Investment office has been deducting the sum of 25000 from each food vendor for two kg oracle rice.

The source said the report accused the Social Investment office of forcing the vendors to pay N3000 each for a thank you visit to Ortom and opened pseudo bank accounts, allocating hundreds of pupils to them and were receiving hundreds of thousands through those fake accounts. Allocation of pupils to vendors are said to be lopsided, as it was given to concubines, APC chieftains and personal friends.

Meanwhile, Adviser to Ortom on Media and ICT, Tahav Agerzua, has commended medical personnel for responding swiftly to victims of the recent fuel tanker fire disaster at Gbatse in Ushongo Local Government Area. Agerzua expressed shock at the magnitude of the disaster, which has so far claimed 13 lives and left 42 persons on admission in various hospitals.


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