EFCC grills ex-Benue governor Suswam
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday interrogated the ex-governor of Benue State Gabriel Suswam over allegations of financial crimes.
The former governor was detained and questioned by operatives of the EFCC from 10 am yesterday and released on administrative bail at about 6: 45 pm.
However, a Makurdi High Court yesterday granted an injunction restraining the Judicial Commission of Inquiry established by the Benue State government from further probing Suswam’s administration.
But sources at the EFCC hinted that Suswam was being probed over allegation of diversion of public funds and fraud during his tenure as governor of Benue State.
“Suswam is being investigated by the anti-graft body for alleged corruption and misappropriation while he was governor of Benue State between 2007 and 2015,” a source said.
After about 8 hours held in the Idiagbon Block at the EFCC headquarters in Abuja, Suswam who was dressed in a grey suit came out shielded by two aides to a waiting vehicle and drove off.
Attempts by journalists who waited outside the EFCC offices to interview him were unsuccessful.
He came out with his head bowed, speaking on his mobile phone, while being guided into a waiting jeep that whisked him away.
Daily Trust also gathered that part of the reason for his delayed release yesterday may be connected to the difficulty of meeting to some of the administrative bail conditions of the EFCC.
The EFCC on
October 9, grilled a former Benue State Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Omadachi Oklobia.
According to sources: “The antigraft agency had invited Oklobia, who served under Mr. Gabriel Suswam, a former Benue State governor, to defend the allegations of diversion of public funds, abuse of office, embezzlement and fraud while he was in office.ý”
“Oklobia arrived the EFFC office in Abuja at about 10.00am, where his statement was obtained under caution based on his complicity in the allegations,” the source said.
However a close associate of Suswam who does not want to be mentioned said the allegations against him cannot be substantiated by the EFCC.
He added that all actions taken by the former Governor were done in the best interest of the state.
On the court restraining the probe in the state, Suswam had last week filed a suit to stop the panel, which was constituted by his successor to investigate the income and expenditure of his tenure between 2007 and 2015.
The state Chief Judge, Justice Iorhemen Hwande, yesterday granted the exparte motion to discontinue the panel from sitting on the matter.
Daily Trust reports that in the suit, the former governor, among other things, questioned the constitution of the panel which in his estimation was done unlawfully as some members of the panel lack the locus standi to sit in it.
In granting the injunction, Justice Hwande directed that the panel be served within seven days, and also ordered the commission to stop forthwith, the trial of the administration of Suswam.