Zone A Peoples’ Assembly ZAPA has said it greatly appreciates the Benue state Executive Council led by Governor Samuel Ortom for taking a very courageous and appropriate step to question, in order to retrieve the over N4bn embezzled by the Senator George Akume Administration that held sway from 1999-2007.
The group said it is convinced that the decision by the current administration in the state will undoubtedly assist the people of the state in dual advantages of first, appreciating how the state commenced on a faulty note the journey after the final resurgence of democracy in the country. Secondly, retrieving monies embezzled by heartless gluttons will help greatly to further add to the development of the state.
ZAPA said it is properly equipped to stand behind Governor Ortom and the Benue state Executive Council in this direction with every legitimate support to go all out in ensuring that those who committed such brazen corruption to the detriment of our people are brought to book, and made to refund the huge stolen funds.
ZAPA, in a statement signed by Fannen Mondo, its National President and Sir J T Ornguga, National General Secretary, said it has also set up a crack team to unearth all files allegedly hidden at the Federal Ministry of Justice, ICPC and EFCC containing petition against Sen. George Akume and his government written by some anti corruption crusaders like The Benue Proactive Coalition, Late. Alhaji Abubakar Tsav amongst others.
“Democracy in this dispensation which began in 1999 was meant to usher in a new lease of life for the people of Nigeria, viz Benue state through a democratic culture driven by transparency and openness. Unfortunately, Akume who was at the driver’s seat as Governor betrayed the peoples’ hope by starting on a filthy note by amongst other things, elevating corruption during his time to statecraft,” the group said.
“We are calling on all anti-graft agencies, especially the EFCC, to understand that Governor Samuel Ortom led Benue state Executive Council by this action has only answered the consistent yearnings of the people of Benue state including ZAPA.
“We are sending affidavits with documentary evidence of very many white elephant projects and audio projects executed by Akume in the entire of the Benue North East Senatorial Districts.
“Projects like, Ber Agbum, Ge-Ikyobo-Agbeede-Anshagna road, Vandeikya-Koti road, Lessel-Ushongo-Manor-Manyam road etc. It will interest the public to know that funds appropriated for these projects were pitilessly diverted to private pockets of individuals.
“The resolve is that Akume MUST be made to answer on these crude embezzlements.
“ZAPA expresses unalloyed support to His Excellency, Samuel Ortom’s administration, particularly his resolve to act as the defender of the people in order to ensure peace and harmony in the Benue valley.
“Your Excellency, ZAPA is proud of you any day.”