EFCC To Soon Prosecute Corrupt Persons In Plateau, Says Gov. Lalong

SIMON LALONGGovernor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong, has expressed optimism that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) will soon prosecute persons who looted the state’s treasury.
Lalong, who fielded questions from journalists in Abuja at the weekend, said the ongoing corruption investigations had led to the arrest of some suspects.
The governor, who was asked to speak on the state of the anti-corruption war in his state, added that the Plateau Government had sent several cases to the EFCC and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).
He added that the state’s Accountant-General was invited by the EFCC last Thursday to “give evidence on” some of the ongoing investigations.
“We formed a transition committee which came out and told the Plateau people about their findings. We have submitted some of our reports to the EFCC and also commissioned a reputable accounting firm, KPMG to help in auditing the state. At the appropriate time, when the results are out, you will see the outcome.
“Recently, we recovered about 2.7 billion in the state, money that was regarded as lost. We traced and recovered the money which was meant for teachers. Teachers, civil servants, the judiciary have gone on several months of strike, some nine, some 11 but now, since I came on board, we having been doing our best.
“We now have arrears of salaries of only two months. For teachers, we paid all, they are back to work. The judiciary is also back to work. So, in Plateau, we are moving well. But in the area of corruption, we are putting pressure on the EFCC to hasten their investigations so that they can begin prosecution and we can also gain recovery of looted funds”, Lalong said.
The governor, who was at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) last Thursday to follow-up on the remaining funds, promised to settle the outstanding two months’ salary of state workers, having settled local government workers.
Gov. Lalong said the state requested for N10billion each for salaries and infrastructure.
On benefits of the Treasury Single Account, TSA, he advised states yet to implement the policy to do so because the system had traced some unknown accounts, especially in some of the ministries.
He further said his government would rather employ additional workforce instead of engaging in downsizing.
“Downsizing in this present administration will be very difficult. The president has advised state governments and even corporate organisations not to downsize”, Lalong stated.