The commission of inquiry in Benue state which resumed sitting at the Makurdi High Court on Thursday, November 12, revealed that the sum of N18.7b meant for primary school teachers’ salaries was paid into an unknown account with First Bank.
Chief Samuel Ortom, Governor of Benue state
Emmanuel Ikpe, the permanent secretary of the Bureau, testifying before the commission could not give satisfactory explanation as to the owner of the bank account belonged to. He appealed to the commission to invite the former Special Adviser of the Bureau during the period under investigation, Solomon Wombo and the then Permanent Secretary, Asen Sambe, to give the required clarifications.
According to Daily Post, he said N1.8b monthly salaries of primary school teachers owed between October 2013 and June 2014, was lodged in the fixed deposit account number 1017993231 with First Bank of Nigeria.
Ikpe confessed that the Bureau made payments between January and May, 2015 up to the tune of N18.7 into the unknown account at First Bank, Makurdi adding that officials of the bank refused to give the Bureau details of the account when the Director of Finance and Administration approached them.
When the commission demanded to know who from the Bureau made the payment of N4.6 billion in May and N5 billion in June last year among others, the permanent secretary of the Bureau said Isaiah Ipevnor, the then accountant and the then Permanent Secretary, Sambe who was the accounting officer, were in the best position to explain.
Justice Kpojime adjourned sitting to enable Ikpe continue with his testimony on Friday, November 13 and Thursday, November 19 and also to allow him tender some documents as requested, The Sun reports.
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According to the commissioner for information and orientation, Ode Ageh, shortly after an emergency state executive council meeting on Tuesday, November 10, at the Peoples House in Makurdi, the state capital, the directive was with immediate effect.
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