Nigeria: EFCC Unfreezes Benue Govt’s Accounts
London, August 9, 2018 (AltAfrica)-The Benue State government in the northern part of Nigeria on Thursday announced that Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has unfrozen its bank accounts.
This was confirmed by the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Samuel Ortom, Mr Terver Akase, in an interview on Channels Television.
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.
The state government had in a statement the next day 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 reads, “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.
Benue government did not however tell when the account was unfrozen or how.