- EFCC is investigating N117 billion suspicious transaction in Rivers state
- The money was reportedly withdrawn from the state account within 3 years
- The state government has however described the probe as a political witch hunt
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is investigating the alleged suspicious withdrawal of N117 billion from the Rivers state account by the government in the last three years, according to a source of the anti-graft agency.
The Nation reports that the state government yesterday described the probe as a “political witch-hunt” and vowed not to be intimidated.
Four suspects have been shortlisted for interrogation in connection with the massive withdrawals. They include an official in charge of finance and accounts at the Government House in Port Harcourt and a cashier.
The EFCC has detained a bank’s managing director, who admitted that N5.2 billion was realised as charges for the “controversial” transactions.
According to the sources, the withdrawals were made in tranches of N10 million with as many as 50 cheques cashed in a day.
The EFCC source said: “Based on intelligence report, the EFCC swung into action. Our findings indicated that the withdrawals were made in cash from the state accounts mostly by one person. There are no records of what the cash was used for. We are working on clues that it was diverted.
“The EFCC team has obtained all the records of the withdrawals, including date and time. For instance, on June 8, 2015 barely few days in government, about 45 cheques amounting to N450million were cashed over the counter for no justifiable purpose.
“Also, on June 9, 2015 about 50 cheques amounting to N500 million were withdrawn. We will soon release the details of findings by our team.”
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Meanwhile, NAIJ.com earlier reported that Benue governor, Samuel Ortom, said the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has subjected state government officials to intense grilling, saying that the persecution was becoming “ridiculous”.
Ortom’s chief press secretary, Terver Akase, who raised the alarm on Wednesday, August 15, in Makurdi, said no day passes without the commission adding one more angle to their harassment of Benue officials.
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