Ortom inaugurates committees to probe Suswam
BENUE State Governor Samuel Ortom, has inaugurated two committees of inquiry to begin probe of the Gabriel Suswam administration. The committees include commission of inquiry to investigate funds that accrue to the state from 2007-2015, which is headed by Justice Elizabeth Kpojime, and the commission of inquiry into the sale and lease of government property, chaired by Barrister Moses Atagher.
Inaugurating the committees at the Government House, Ortom highlighted their terms of reference, stating that the judicial commission on verification of funds accruing/ received and the utilization of Benue State funds is to identify all revenue resources and total amount of revenue which accrued to the state government between June 2007 to May 2015.
And find out how much was received by the state government from Federation Account, local government funds, internally generated revenue, bonds and loans, excess crude account, Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) funds, ecological funds, VAT, SURE-P funds, SUBEB, MDGs and any other funds.
He also said the commission is to inquire into the number of shares/stock owned by the Benue State government in Dangote Cement Compay PLC, Benue Brewery Limited, and other companies and enterprises.
And see the circumstances that led to the sale of such shares/stock and their worth or value, identify the investors who bought these shares/stock as well as determine whether the transitions followed due process of law.
Also, the commission is to verify if the government still has any equity in the said companies and the value of such equity while ascertaining if the funds realized in all the above stated were appropriated.
Establish the application and utilization of such funds, see if there is misappropriation if any and identify the person or persons involved and recommend appropriate sanctions to the government.
The second committee is mandated to amongst others identify all government properties that have been sold/leased since June, 2007, determine the status and correct value of such properties as the time of sale/lease, identify those who bought or took on lease such properties and in case of lease, determine what improvements have been made and the subsisting interest of the government in the transaction.
It is also to determine the value of the sale/lease and establish whether the transactions were in the interest of the government and if due process was followed. The governor said the objective of the committees is not to witch-hunt anyone but to ensure accountability in governance.