Panel Of Inquiry Searches For Misplaced N128.8m In Benue

Samuel OrtomFormer Relations Manager of GTBank, Ms Ajuma Oloko, said her involvement with the officials of the Benue Government in money transfers was purely official.

Oloko made the remark in Makurdi on Tuesday while testifying before Benue Commission of Inquiry set up by Gov. Samuel Ortom to investigate the finances of the state between 2007 and May 2015.

The commission had invited Oloko to explain the whereabouts of N128.8 million she received from the Ministry of Finance and the purpose of the money.

Oloko admitted receiving only N70 million from the ministry. “I was directed to deposit it into an account owned by one Mohammed Ragoh for the purpose of obtaining foreign exchange”.

On proof of the deposit, she said the deposits were not done in a single transaction and were made in different names and not directly by her.

Oloko, who also admitted receiving N33.8 million from officials of Ministry of Finance for undisclosed reasons, however, denied collecting N16 million cash from the ministry through his account officer at the bank.

She said everything she did was under instructions from then Commissioner for Finance, Mr Omandachi Oklobia, also being investigated by the EFCC along with former Gov. Gabriel Suswam, whose administration is under probe.

She explained that the N70 million was collected in different tranches while the N33.8 was also at a different times.

Testifying earlier, an Accounts Officer of the Bank, Mr Abel Musa, said he received monies from officials of the ministry at various times with instructions to handover them to Oloko.

According to him, the officials always claim that Oloko knows the purpose for such transactions.

Musa explained that most of the monies were changed into dollars and lodged into a visa credit account belonging to Suswam.

The commission has summoned the former governor and other key officers in his administration to appear before it and explain their involvement. (NAN)