Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State insisted on Tuesday that his predecessor, Gabriel Suswam, sold the state’s shares in Benue Cement Company at the sum of N8.3 billion but lied to the citizens that the shares were intact.
The company has been bought over by Dangote Group.
Ortom’s revelation came on the heels of the arraignment of the ex-governor at a Federal High Court, Abuja, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on a nine-count charge bordering on money laundering and breach of trust.
Speaking in an interview with Daily Trust in Makurdi, the state capital, Gov. Ortom vowed to deploy every legal arsenal at his disposal to ensure that Suswam accounts for the state’s assets which he held in trust for the people within his eight years reign in the state.
“We are not afraid of their (Suswam) antics because that is what they have been doing even when they were here. They only tell you people (journalists) lies. Did the former governor not come out through his media adviser to deny that shares in Benue Cement were not sold? Did you not hear it, Madam?
“Why would the governor deny that shares were not sold? We have the confirmation. I have the records, shares worth N8.3 billion were sold. So how can government sell shares and come to tell the public that it did not sell? And what did he do with the money? These are the issues that must be unraveled, we must correct it because we have no other state than Benue”, he said.