THE Benue State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party and its All Progressives Congress counterpart are engaged in a war of words over the state government’s call on anti- graft agencies to investigate the Minister of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs, Senator George Akume, for alleged N4.5 bn fraud.
The Benue State Government had last week dragged Akume to the anti-graft agencies to account for alleged N4.56bn fraud during his tenure as governor of the state between 1999 and 2007.
The PUNCH had reported that a letter of complaint to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Independent Corrupt Practices Commission, and the Inspector -General of Police, was signed by the counsel to the Benue State Government, Okeoga Darlington.
A copy of the letter was made available to journalists in Makurdi, on Friday.
Reacting to the allegations, on Wednesday, the State APC Chairman, Mr Austin Agada, accused Governor Ortom, of embarking on a campaign of calumny, ostensibly to run down the profile of Akume in order to weaken his chances of emerging as the APC national chairman.
“Let it be known to all APC faithful and the whole world that the fraud allegation currently levelled against Senator Akume by Gov. Ortom and his government is clearly an act of political witch-hunt.”
Agada also alleged that the APC was robbed of victory in 2019 by the Peoples Democratic Party.
In a response, the PDP urged Akume to respond to allegations of financial impropriety levelled against him by auditors instead of resorting to sponsored press conferences.
The statement which was signed by the PDP Publicity Secretary, Bemgba Iortyom, read in part, … “Crying wolf about the audit report being a witch-hunt is totally immaterial as the due process of law requires him to prove his innocence before a competent authority when called upon to do so.
“The fact that Akume is nursing ambition to run for any office anywhere in the world does not confer on him immunity from accounting for his stewardship at previous offices he held or the one he is presently occupying.”
On allegations that APC was robbed of victory in the 2019 election, the PDP Publicity Secretary described it as laughable stating that APC did not come second, but a distant third behind the All Progressives Grand Alliance.
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