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FG alleges diversion of school feeding funds in Benue State


Court to decide suit against EFCC over state accounts October 8

The Federal Government has alleged that funds meant for the Home-Grown School Feeding Programme were being diverted by the Benue State office of the programme.Special Adviser to the President on Social Investment Programme, Hajiya Miriam Uwuais, disclosed this while speaking with journalists shortly after she led a delegation to pay a visit on Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State in Government House, Makurdi.

According to her, the diverted funds constituted a serious challenge at the beginning of the programme in the state, even as the number of those recruited was exaggerated to cart away monies. Meanwhile, the governor, who disclosed that the state has benefited about N6 billion since take-off of the programme in the state, said the programme had impacted positively on the lives of many people in the state by improving the condition of living of many families, encouraged children to go school, thereby increasing the number of enrolment to schools.

In another development, the Federal High Court, Abuja, has fixed October 8, 2018 for judgment in the suit filed by the Benue State Government challenging the powers of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to investigate its accounts.

Justice Nnamdi Dimgba fixed the date after counsel to parties in the matter adopted their briefs of arguments.He warned that parties should not take further steps that would destroy the subject matter of the court.

Adopting his brief of arguments on behalf of the Benue State Government, Emeka Etiaba (SAN), urged the court to hold that the EFCC lacked the statutory powers to investigate the account of a state government.

But counsel to the EFCC, Sylvanus Tahir, urged the court to dismiss the suit as the reliefs contained in the originating summons were misconceived.He said the actions of the commission were informed by petitions written against the state by some indigenes of the state including one Abubakar Tsav, alleging massive corruption by some state officials.He, therefore, urged the court to hold that it is only the EFCC that has the statutory powers to investigate and prosecute financial crimes.

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