Suswam files suit to stop probe
Former governor of Benue State, Mr. Gabriel Suswam, yesterday filed a suit at a Makurdi High Court seeking to stop the probe panel constituted by his successor to look into the activities of his administration.
Governor Samuel Ortom in August this year set up a Judicial Commission of Inquiry to investigate the incomes and expenditure of the former administration.
The commission began sitting since last month with the collection of memoirs submitted by ministries, departments and agencies and invited various witnesses to testify before it.
Daily Trust learnt yesterday that the former governor through his counsel, Dave Iorhemba, had gone to court with a counter suit to challenge the state government on the probe panel.
Yesterday, the Managing Director of Benue Investment and Property Company (BIPC), Mrs. Bridget Sheidu, had a tough time with the Justice Elizabeth Kpojime led Commission of Inquiry.
Shiedu could not convince the panel on what N355 million paid to one Sankalos Benue Farms Limited was used for, even after several explanations.
She had told the panel that the money was the 40 percent share of a counterpart fund to which the company was supposed to contribute 60 percent for the purchase of agricultural equipment from Mexico. She added that the money which was actually supposed to be paid in dollars into a foreign account was later translated to the company in naira so that the total of N355 million was withdrawn once from BIPC’s bank account and paid into Sankalos account from where it was later withdrawn in bits within six days.
However, Justice Kpojime wondered why Sankalos which was meant to provide 60 percent of the total sum for the procurement of the equipment would turn around and demand for Benue’s 40 percent. A member of the commission, Barr. Joe Abaagu, contended that the money in question never left Nigeria, alleging that Sankalos Benue Farms limited was only a fictitious name used as a conduit pipe to siphon the fund. A former Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Solid Minerals Dr. Garba Baba Buwai is dead.
Buwai, who also served as a Commissioner representing Zamfara, Sokoto and Kebbi States in the Federal Civil Service Commission, died in a road accident on Sunday while returning home after Isha prayers at the National Mosque in Abuja.
Buwai was said to be passionate about reforms in the federal service and showed commitment and forthrightness in whatever assignment he was given.
Until his death, Buwai, who hailed from Zamfara State, was the President of Abuja Centre for Islam propagation (ACIP) for more than 15 years. Buwai is survived by a wife, children and grandchildren.
Suspected armed robbers, kidnappers and cult members paraded by Rivers State Police Command in Port Harcourt yesterday. Photo: NAN.
Late Dr. Garba Buwai