Benue APC tears as Mato, Utaan, Wayo, others demand refunds for donations made to bribe Appeal Court
By Apine Jacob, Makurdi (Nigerian Concord)
This is certainly not the best time for the Benue state chapter of the APC as some top members of the party are demanding a refund for all the monies they donated to bribe members of the Appeal Panel that held the appeal filed by the party’s governorship candidate, Emmanuel Jime, in Abuja recently.
Nigerian Concord’s investigation revealed that said funds running to N1.2 billion were sent to the Benue APC through the Minister of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs, Senator George Akume.
According to one of the aggrieved victim who was part of the donors, the donations were made by former member of the House of Reps for Konshisha/Vandeikya, Mrs Dorathy Mato, former House of Reps member for Kwande, Hon Benjamin Wayo, as well as the sacked Focal Person of Social Investments office in Benue, Hon. Terhide Utaan.
However, a former adviser for local government and chieftaincy affairs, Hon. Solomon Wombo, refused to donate any money when contacted. He was said to have described it as a failed project
Information available to Nigerian Concord showed that while Wayo who was promised a Commissioner slot had to sell some of his properties in Makurdi and Abuja in order to raise his own donation, Utaan who was also promised to be returned to his previous office as Focal Person for NSIP had to empty his Zenith Bank accounts to pay his own contribution.
However, Mato and others were said to have accused the minister of cornering all the funds which they donated after the Appeal Panel members had refused to take the bribe.
One of Mato’s aides who did not want to be mentioned told our reporter that all the donors confronted the minister recently, asking him why he had not returned their monies back to them since the Appeal Court had ruled against Emmanuel Jime.
The aide pressed further that the donors have decided to escalate the matter since it has been made known to them
that Akume has refused to refund the donations even after the appeal court judges rejected the offer.
Meanwhile, another aide to Honourable Utaan confided in our reporter that it is the money that the minister wants to use to funds a reception that is being planned in his honour in Makurdi.
Reacting in a telephone conversation this morning, media adviser to the minister, Dr. Mkor Aondona, denied the allegation, saying that his boss did not collect money from the accusers.