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Probe: Ortom Sacks Indicted Aide

John Shiaondo, Makurdi

Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State has sacked his Special Adviser on Rural Development and cooperatives , Mr. Tsenongo Abancha, over his roles in the alleged misappropriation of N500 million Bank of Industry micro credit fund.

The decision of the governor followed the request of the State Executive Council after deliberating on the white paper on the Justice Elizabeth Kpojime Judicial Commission of Inquiry.

The white paper directed Mr. Abancha and others to jointly and severally refund N19.5 million.

It also prescribed the prosecution of former Governor Gabriel Suswam and others for various roles and barred them from holding public office.

The white paper which was presented to Governor Samuel Ortom Wednesday at a session by the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Michael Gusa, gave the State Government the nod to recover over N107 billion from 52 key players in the immediate past administration.

The offences for which persons indicted are to be prosecuted include padding and inflation of contracts, embezzlement, misappropriation, misapplication, expenditure without approval and approval above limit.

The white paper stipulated outright dismissal or compulsory retirement of those still in the service of Benue State found to have participated in irregularities.

Earlier, accepting the report Governor Ortom pledged to ensure the looted funds which he said would be channeled into the development of the state.

He expressed appreciation to members of the commission and those who drafted the white paper for what he described as their painstaking work and dedicated service to the people of the state.

It could be noted that governor Ortom at several occasions had insisted that those involved in corruption would be sanctioned.

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