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‘Plateau government will prosecute looters if anti-graft agencies delay’

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Gov. Simon Lalong of Plateau state.

Gov. Simon Lalong of Plateau state.

The Plateau Government says it will go ahead to prosecute persons alleged to have looted state funds, if EFCC and ICPC delay the investigation and prosecution of such cases.

Gov. Simon Lalong stated this when he featured on the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Forum in Abuja.

Lalong said the state government did not want to appear to be in conflict with EFCC and ICPC “but if they delay and we see very clear facts, we will prosecute people’’.

He further said the state government had the machinery to prosecute people alleged to have stolen state funds.

“So each time when people say maybe the governor has compromised, he is not pursuing, I said no: we separated them.

“The one Federal Government is supposed to do, we have given them.

“The one that we are supposed to do, we are doing.

“Very soon, if they are not ready to prosecute, we will prosecute: we have ministry of justice.

“If they delay with the investigation we will prosecute, we will prosecute people, we have the machinery to also prosecute.

“We don’t want to have conflict with EFCC and ICPC but if they delay and we see very clear facts, we would do that.”

He said that the state government had engaged the services of an international auditing firm, KPMG, who audited the accounts of the state government and found discrepancies, which had been reported.

He said that the report of the transition committee, which was set up before the inception of his administration, had been had been sent to the anti-graft agencies.

Lalong, therefore, appealed to the anti-graft agencies to hasten their investigations to enable the state government to recover funds allegedly stolen by former state government officials.

“We quickly assembled the reports, got some part of the report and we sent them to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and ICPC.

“We did that but unfortunately you can send it to them but the prosecution is their own, the investigation is their own.

“I am appealing to them to hasten the investigation so that we would be able to recover some of our looted funds.

“Very soon, we are waiting for the ICPC or the EFCC: many people were invited from the past government; some people were also invited from my own government to bring documents.

“I am sure they may delay but that is not to say that we do not have enough evidence to give them, we have enough evidence.”

The governor said the government had so far been able to recover N2.7 billion of the stolen SUBEB funds.



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