It has become necessary to clarify the misleading information being peddled by a section of the media over the recent revocation of the sale of the Benue State Government’s property No.GP.145 Atom Kpera Lodge, Makurdi.
The decision of the Benue State Executive Council to revoke the purchase of the said property was necessitated by findings that the deal was enmeshed in irregularities by the immediate past administration.
According to available records regarding the transaction, former Governor Rt. Hon. Gabriel Suswam had applied for allocation of the property on the 26th June, 2007, while the date of allocation was 29th May, 2007. Similarly, while payment for the property was expected to be made within six months of allocation, the immediate past Governor did not effect the payment until 27th September, 2012, when he paid the sum of N4, 847,000.00 and was issued a Certificate of Occupancy.
Not only did this method of transaction fail to conform to known minimum standards anywhere in the world, the purchase of the lodge did not have any semblance of transparency and due process, just as the deal amounted to abuse of power.
In addition to the questionable manner in which the purchase of the Atom Kpera lodge was handled, the Ortom administration finds it strange and curious that a sitting government of the state which ought to be the custodian of the state’s assets could hurriedly sell one of its property to a sitting Governor.
Following thorough investigation, the current Benue State Executive Council made a decision during its November 11, 2015 meeting to revoke the sale and request the former Governor Gabriel Suswam to deliver vacant possession of the said property to the office of the State’s Head of Service.
The State Government duly sent notice of the revocation to the residencies of the former Governor Gabriel Suswam in Anyiin, Logo Local Government Area and Abuja. The State Government also published the notice of revocation in The Nation newspaper of 16th November, 2015 on page 47.
It is our hope that good counsel will prevail and the immediate past Governor will comply with the notice accordingly.
The decision to revoke the transaction is not an act of witch-hunt. The Ortom administration upholds due process and transparency and will do anything lawfully possible to protect the resources and assets of Benue State.
Senior Special Assistant, Media