Benue lawmakers threaten Ortom with impeachment over N2.37b budget fraud

Nigerian Concord with agency report

Benue State House of Assembly is threatening to commence impeachment move against Governor Samuel Ortom for allegedly spending not less than N2.3bn only extra-budgetry.

Indications to this effect emerged during plenary last Wednesday when the Majority Leader of the House, Benjamin Adanyi rose to the effect that the Governor wanted the Assembly to arrange and pass a supplementary budget covering the said amount in 2017 appropriation law.

Irked by the discovery that the executive had spent the said amount which is far beyond the limit the law permits them, members declined that the motion go through second reading.

Ortom in a letter to the Assembly with Ref. No. Q/113/XV/XXX dated 14th December, 2017 stated in part, “…Although, the approved 2017 budget made adequate provisions for the needs of the state, developments during the year has created the need for supplementary budget.

“Accordingly, I have laid before the honourable house a supplementary request of N2,329,617,389.00 only for consideration and appropriation”.

Though Mr. Adanyi at plenary while moving a motion for the consideration of the bill apologised on behalf of the Governor for spending the huge amount before presenting for “consideration and appropriation” before the House, members boldly told him the apology cannot be taken insisting that the offence as committed by the Governor is impeachable.

Findings have indicated that members of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) had, after plenary met and sent a message to the Governor to withdraw the letter (supplementary budget ) and include their interest and submit back to the House if actually he want the bill to seal through.

Another source hinted that members insisted that if the “supplementary budget” must seal through, each of them must be given not less than N50m each.