N3.1bn fraud: EFCC says can’t trace whistleblower who reported ex-Gov. Suswam

Former Benue State governor, Gabriel Suswan in court over corruption charges
Former Benue State governor, Gabriel Suswan in court over corruption charges

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Monday told a Federal High Court in Abuja that the commission could not trace the person who wrote a petition against a former governor of Benue State, Gabriel Suswan.

Mr. Suswan and his former commissioner of finance, Omadachi Oklobia, are facing a nine-count charge bordering on diversion of N3.1 billion during his (Suswam) tenure as governor of Benue State.

An EFCC operative, Junaid Saheed, told the court that efforts to communicate with the petitioner through the email address he included in his petition failed as the email was nonexistent.

During the cross examination, which lasted for more than five hours, Mr. Saheed said the petition, titled “Truth shall prevail over evil minds”, could not be traced to any person or association.

He however noted that following the petition, the commission made some findings that led to filing of the nine-count charge against Mr. Suswam and his allies.

The petitioner alleged, among other things, that Mr. Suswan sold shares of Benue State Investment and Property Limited worth N9.4billion without the approval of the State House of Assembly and diverted the proceeds to personal use.

Counsel to Mr. Suswam, Joseph Daudu, however prayed the court to compel Mr. Saheed to explain the result of its findings on the remaining sum of over N6 billion since the commission’s findings show N3.1 billion forming part of the N9.4 billion allegedly diverted.

Responding, counsel to EFCC, Rotimi Jacobs, said the commission should be allowed to explain based on its charges that revolve around the sum of N3.1billion.

However, Mr. Daudu’s plea to present a previous judgment from the same court regarding his stand that the anti-graft agency had no legal privilege to investigate state funds failed.

The presiding judge, Ahmed Mohammed, said the court could take judicial notice of the said document.

Mr. Ahmed therefore adjourned hearing till Tuesday for the continuation of the cross examination.

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  • Nkem

    Well, the guy is afraid for his life. Besides, he doesn’t trust EFCC under Lamorde. Didn’t you hear that Ibrahim Magu said he has been sweeping the Commission clean of corrupt officers when he came in? Going forward, EFCC should encourage anonymous petitioning to encourage more people to come forward with information on corruption. They should also strengthen their witness protection programme.