EFCC Reveals How Suswam, Okolobia Looted Benue

The Economic and Financial Crimes
Commission (EFCC) Tuesday told a Federal High Court in Abuja the how
 former Governor of Benue State, Gabriel Suswam and his finance
commissioner, Omadachi Okolobia, looted the state to the tune of over
N3.1 billion.



At the resumed trial yesterday, the prosecution witness and a detective
with the EFCC, Junaidu Sa’Id, told the court that his team investigated
the petition dated July 14, 2015  against Suswam and his finance
commissioner.



Sa’Id said investigation revealed that the former governor requested
that shares owned by the state government be sold for the sum of N10
billion.



Consequent upon that, he said, Elixir Investment Partners was appointed
as stockbrokers to carry out the sales of the shares, of which over N9
billion was realised from the sales of the shares.



Elixir Investment Partners, the witness said was thereafter instructed
to pay the N9 billion realised from the sales of the shares into three
different bank accounts.



He said that another instruction was given for the payment of N1
billion to Benue Investment Properties Company’s account, while the
balance of N8 billion was paid into two separate accounts with the name
of Benue State Ministry of Finance.



However, the EFCC witness said, when Elixir attempted to pay into the
two separate accounts of Benue State Ministry of Finance as was
directed, it was discovered that one of the account did not belong to
Benue State ministry of finance but belongs to one Fanffash Resources.



Sa’id stated further that upon this discovery, Elixir sought
clarification from the then commissioner of finance (2nd defendant), who
gave him the go-ahead that the payment should be made in the name of
Fanffash Resources.



Investigation revealed that N5 billion was paid into the account of
Benue State ministry of finance by Elixir Investment Partners, while a
total sum of N3.1 billion was paid into Fanffash Resources account.



The witness said the owner of Fanfash Resources, Abubakar Umar, was
invited by the EFCC, who confirmed that he received N3.1 billion and
converted same to dollar equivalent, amounting to $15.8 million and that
he delivered same in cash to former governor Suswam at his Maitama
residence in Abuja.



He told the court that the finance commissioner confirmed issuing
directives for the payments made to Fanffash Resources and Benue State
ministry of finance.



He also confirmed to EFCC investigating team that he collected a total
sum of N370 million in cash from the cashier of the state ministry of
finance.

The court adjourned till January 18-19, 2015 for cross-examination of the witness and continuation of trial
ThisDay

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