Court Grants SUSWAM’s Application to Stop Probe on N48b
Information from Benue state indicates that a High court sitting in Makurdi has ordered a stay of proceedings on both the judicial commission of inquiry and administrative commission of inquiry set by Benue state government to probe the administration of former Benue State Governor, Gabriel Suswam pending the determination of the substantive motion
.Justice Iorhemen Hwande in his ruling said after considering the affidavit and addresses of counsel to Suswam, having recourse to s.22(2) of the High Court Law and order 40(3(1) of the High Court. Civil procedure rules 2007 , I’m satisfied that leave ought to be granted the applicant to proceed as prayed .
” consequently leave is granted the applicant ( Suswam) to seek the reliefs as contained on the motion paper. Notice is to served on the respondents who may reacts where they choose.
By granting of this leave ,the leave is to operate as “Stay of Proceedings ” pending when the main application is heard .
It could be recalled that the former Benue state governor had through his lawyer Barr. David Iorhemba had approached the court to stop the ongoing probe of his administration.
Suswam, who left office on May 29, this year, is alleged to have made away with state funds running into billions of Naira and is to defend himself against the charges.
Earlier, speaking with newsmen a short while ago, the EFCC spokesman, Wilson Uwajuren confirmed that Suswan was arrested Monday and is being quizzed by the anti-graft agency.
“He was invited by the EFCC in connection with ongoing corruption investigation in Benue state,” he said.
Suswam has been accused of selling the state government shares in Benue Investment and Property Company ( BIPC ) but the former governor has repeatedly denied the allegation.
Per Second News last week in a report revealed that an official of the state publicly confirmed that the former governor actually sold the shares.
Information pieced together by Per Second News revealed that the previous government did not only market the shares under BIPC custody but also squandered such monies in a hurry under controversial circumstances.
Investigations by our reporter reveal that within the periods of 12th to 14th January 2105 the Suswam – led administration had spent over 274 million on such frivolous overheads all drawn from the expenditure account whence part of the proceeds from the sale of shares was deposited as directed by the former Commissioner of finance.
According to Per Second News investigation, the breakdown of the frivolous expenditure from the sales which was deposited into the Zenith Bank account number 1013852648 was as follows:
• 17/10/2014 – 60 Million spent on Military Retreat
• 14/11/2014- 200 Million spent on Government House Expenditure
• 20/11/2014- 45 Million spent on Government House Expenditure
• 12/1/2015- 128 Million spent on Government House Expenditure
• 13/1/2015- 100 Million Spent on Government House Expenditure
• 14/1/2015- 17 Million spent on Government House Expenditure
• 16/1/2015- 29 Million paid to UBA Capital
According to information pieced together, all the above payments were made in cash.
It could be recalled that Mrs. Sheidu had revealed that the company had raised nearly 9 billion Naira from the sale of state owned stock at the Benue Cement Company (BCC). She however only one billion out of the total sum was paid into BIPC account while the then Finance Commissioner, Omadachi Oklobia had directed that the money be domiciled into two other accounts : 1013852648 and 1013677218 all operated at Zenith Bank.
However findings have also proven that the 1013677218 account was not government owned.