EFCC chases Benue officials over N1.3bn salary scam

Posted by Ronald Mutum | 1 August 2018 | 1,553 times

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•EFCC Operatives

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is set to declare officials of the Benue State Bureau of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs wanted over refusal to honour invitations.

The officials have been invited since July 2016 to explain their involvement in an alleged N1.328 billion salary scam in the State.

EFCC agents leading the investigation told Daily Trust in Abuja yesterday it discovered how N1.3bn cash withdrawals were made from a joint State and Local Government bank account.

It was said that a new generation bank account operated by the bureau often received the money meant for salary and pension of Benue workers directly from the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC).

EFCC agents said plans were in place to declare all government officials involved in the transactions wanted and watch listed.

The EFCC said it had cause to investigate the matter after it received a petition from one Abubakar Tsav on June 10, 2016.

The EFCC said Tsav who is a Commissioner in the Public Complaints Commission wrote the petition against the Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom and a former Chairman of Gwer West Local Government Area, Titus Zam.

The petition alleged N929 million fraudulent transactions through the bureau, while workers and pensioners of the state were not paid for a long time.

The EFCC said it discovered the bureau operated an account with a new generation bank numbered; 5030058730, where the money was withdrawn by two persons, Andoor Festus and John Bako.

It was said that most of the money was withdrawn in cash ranging from N20m, N50m and N150m according to inflows from the FAAC.

It was discovered that Andoor Festus withdrew N1.3bn while John Bako suspected to belong to one of the security outfits in the state received N28m.

Excerpted from a Daily Trust report

Source: News Express

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