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We are not working to cripple Benue state government - EFCC

- EFCC denies claims that it is investigating the accounts, appropriation and administration of funds of the Benue state government

- The anti-graft commission insists its activities in Benue are within its constitutional powers

- The commission files charges against Akwa-Ibom senator for allegedly receiving N254m car gifts

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has faulted claims that it is trying to cripple the activities of the Benue state government.

The commission has also denied claims that it is investigating the accounts, appropriation and administration of funds of the state.

The anti-graft agency made the statement when responding to a suit filed by the Benue state government alleging that the investigation being carried out by the EFCC in the state amounted to usurping the functions of the House of Assembly, The Nation reports.

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The commission insisted that its activities in Benue were within its constitutional powers. It said it was only investigating some officials of the state government against who some citizens made allegations of diversion of public funds, money laundering and related offences.

The statement by the EFCC in its counter-affidavit read in part: “In carrying out its onerous duties, the 1st defendant, being a responsible agency of government, has employed the best practices of extending invitation to concerned State Government functionaries through high ranking government officials such as Secretary to the State Government, Permanent Secretaries of relevant ministries/agencies, Accountant General of the state and Liaison Officer, Benue State Liaison Office, Abuja without resorting to crude and uncivilised methods.

"The 1st defendant is not investigating the accounts and/or appropriation, disbursement and administration of funds of Benue State Government. The 1st defendant is only investigating economic and financial crimes, money laundering related offences allegedly committed by some officials of Benue State Government.

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“The ongoing investigation cannot result into a shut down or grinding to a halt, the activities of governance in Benue State as the 1st defendant is not an army of occupation. Indeed, the 1st defendant has not shut down government offices/business as it has been inviting relevant state government officials to make statements and/or furnish relevant documents as the need arises.

“The ongoing investigation can only result in restoring the confidence of citizens of Benue State, who are calling for accountability, transparency and probity in the affairs of government of their state. It may well be that the outcome of investigation may prove the allegations as baseless, which is in the interest of the government of Benue State."

Meanwhile, the EFCC on Monday, August 20, filed charges at an Ikeja high court against another serving senator, Albert Bassey, for allegedly receiving 12 cars as bribes worth N254 million.

Bassey, 45, who is representing Akwa-Ibom North-East, received the vehicles between 2010 and 2014 from Olajide Omokore, a businessman, when he (Bassey) served as the Akwa-Ibom Commissioner for Finance.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the EFCC has slammed a 14-count charge bordering on corruption on the duo. Bassey is to face a seven-count charge of bordering on corruption as a public officer and for inviting bribes as a result of his own action.

The EFCC stage a walk against corruption - on NAIJ.com TV

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Source: Naija.ng

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Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka
Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka

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