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Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Alleged Fraud: Benue Lawmakers Clashes Over EFCC Probe

Proceedings at the Benue house of assembly degenerated into fisticuffs as lawmakers disagreed over allegations of fraud.
Lawmakers elected on the platform of the PDP accused principals officers of the house of misappropriating N750 million meant for the purchase of official cars.

Trouble started soon after sitting commenced with Honourable Kester Kyenge raising a point of order before the consideration of votes and proceedings of the previous sitting.

The Speaker of the House, Honourable Terkimbi Ikyange, who sensed the danger in the motion raised, ruled Mr Kyenge out of order.

The situation led to members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the Assembly calling for the removal of all principal officers of the House.

The All Progressives Congress (APC)-led legislature strongly resisted the move at the floor of the House in Makurdi, the Benue State capital.

The situation got worse as lawmakers from the APC, which is the Speaker’s camp and the PDP members used abusive words against each other, prompting the Speaker to adjourn sitting to Thursday.

In an interview with the media, Mr Kyenge in company of his PDP colleagues, expressed concern that the Benue State government had failed to pay workers’ six months salaries, amidst rising insecurity in the state.

They also accused the Speaker of corruption and again demanded the resignation of the principal officers in the House.

The Speaker on his part said that contrary to the PDP lawmakers’ claims, 13 of them violated the law in the purchase of the cars which prompted the EFCC probe.

The Chief Press Secretary to Governor Samuel Ortom, Mr Terver Akase, accused the PDP lawmakers of orchestrating a plot to set up the civil servants against the government.

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