EFCC unfreezes Benue Govt’s accounts, freezes that of Akwa Ibom

EFCC unfreezes Benue Govt’s accounts, freezes that of Akwa Ibom

The Benue State government says the Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has unfrozen the state govenment's accounts. The Chief Press Secretary

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The Benue State government says the Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has unfrozen the state govenment’s accounts. The Chief Press Secretary to Governor Samuel Ortom, Mr Terver Akase, confirmed this to Channels Television in an interview today. EFCC had frozen the accounts of the state government domiciled in three banks on Tuesday, saying it was investigating alleged abuse of the state’s security votes.

Reacting in a statement the next day, the state government described the action as an alleged political witch-hunt aimed at frustrating Governor Ortom’s efforts after he left the All Progressives Congress (APC). The statement read, “The action of EFCC is already having a negative impact on the running of government in Benue State. It is a move that will affect salaries, pensions and other sundry payments. The question we are asking is; why did EFCC not investigate the Governor’s security votes when he was still a member of APC?”

Hours later, the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) also condemned the EFCC’s action. NGF Chairman and Zamfara State Governor, Abdul’Aziz Yari, had told reporters in Abuja that freezing the accounts of the government was unconstitutional. On its part, the PDP faulted the EFCC for the action, as well as for freezing the accounts of the Akwa Ibom State. The party had, in a series of tweets, said the action of the anti-graft agency cannot be justified under any guise within the dictates of the Nigerian Constitution.

It consequently asked President Muhammadu Buhari to order the EFCC to unfreeze the accounts, warning that the action was capable of unleashing hardship on the people in the states.