By Peter Duru
MAKURDI—Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State said, yesterday, that 22 state legislators have started refunding car loans they collected for personal vehicles to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
Ortom, who disclosed this when he received youths of Turan in Kwande Local Government Area, said the lawmakers were expected to refund N317 million to the anti-graft agency in Abuja.
He said the refund was necessitated by the shoddy manner the loans were disbursed to the lawmakers, adding that the process fell short of best practices required in such financial transactions.
Mr. Ortom explained that of the number, 12 legislators were from the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, while 10 were from All Progressives Congress, APC.
He regreted that due process was jettisoned, leading to the lodgement of cash into the accounts of the legislators for the cars’ purchase.
“After the executive council approved the contract for the procurement of Prado SUVs for the assembly members, only eight were procured,” Governor Ortom said.
He said the contractor blamed his inability to purchase the remaining 22 on the high exchange rate.
Governor Ortom also assured that his former amnesty boss, Terwase Akwaza, who was fleeing from arrest over his alleged role in the killing of his security aide, would be arrested and brought to book, adding that more than 60 of his gang members had been arrested for various crimes in the state.