<<< By Richard Uleve, Radio Benue >>>
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, in conjunction with Nigeria Police have started the process of the recovery of the N107 billion looted from Benue State treasury by 52 individuals and 10 corporate organisations in the last administration with the arrest of nine persons.
The nine persons who were indicted by the Justice Elizabeth Kpojime Commission of Inquiry were arrested and detained at the State Police headquarters, Makurdi before being taken to the force headquarters Abuja for further investigation and subsequent prosecution.
Those arrested are the former Special Adviser to the former Governor, Bureau of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Prince Solomon Wombo, former permanent secretary of the Bureau, Mr Asen Sambe, and the accountant during their time, Mr. Isaiah Ipevnor.
Others are Janet Aluga, Moses Detso, Peter Ochoga, James Gera, Aorga Emmanuel and former legal adviser of the Benue Investment and Property Company, BIPC, Mr John Tyokegh.
The State Commissioner of Police, Mr Bashir Makama, who confirmed the arrest explained that the it was effected by the Police from the force headquarters in Abuja.
Mr Wombo reported himself to the police at the force headquarters in Abuja and is currently being detained there.
The police officer who spoke on condition of anonymity said one of those indicted by the Kpojime Commission, Mr Richard Gbande, escaped when Police went to arrest him but that his two cars were impounded.
He revealed that large amounts of money and ammunition were recovered from the houses of some of those arrested.
Reacting to the development, the State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Barrister Michael Gusa, who also confirmed the arrests stated that the Governor Ortom administration would do everything legally possible to recover the looted funds.
He assured the people of the state that after the recovery of the money, it would be channelled towards the development of the state as well as the clearing of all salaries and other entitlements owed workers and pensioners.