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Saturday, 25 June 2016
Controversy As Police Is Set To Revisit N40 Million Fraud Case
The Crisis at the Benue State House of Assembly is set to witness another twist as the Police may reopen a N40 million fraud case against the Deputy Speaker, Hon James Okefe.
According to the report, the police may revisit a case which was reported by Mr Akange Audu, a former Permanent Secretary and Governorship Aspirant in which he alleged he was duped by the Deputy Speaker in a collaborative deal to open a micro finance bank.
In the petition, Mr Audu was said to have alleged that Hon Okefe had approached him with a proposal to jointly set up a microfinance bank for which Okefe offered the documents of his residence as collateral and a promise of fifty percent of the shares of the proposed bank for a sum of N40 million.
Trouble, however, stated when Hon Okefe, after receiving the funds, failed to carry him along, and on the investigation, discovered the lawmaker had registered only himself and his wife as Directors of the bank.
Mr Audu then petitioned the police over the matter but failed to follow up following the intervention of the Speaker of the Assembly, Hon Terkimbi Ikyange, however, with the vehicle contract deal caving in on the Deputy Speaker, the police may revisit the petition.
The embattled leadership of the Assembly just returned from Abuja where they were guests of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC concerning a N750 million vehicle contract scam also handled by Hon James Okefe who, however, was refused bail by the EFCC and is expected to be charged to Court next week.
Several attempts to speak with the Deputy Speaker was abortive as his phone number did not go through.
However, in a swift response, Mr Akange Audu has denied ever writing any petition to the Police about the Deputy Speaker of the House of Assembly. He made this known in a response to the syndication of the Benue.com.ng on the Facebook by Edmond Aondona Akenge.
The full text of his statement reads as follows:
“Akange Audu My attention has been drawn to a write up by one Edmond Aondona Akende, who alleged that I have petitioned the deputy speaker of the Benue state house of assembly, Hon. Okefe.
I wish to debunk, refute and ask the general public to disregard that half-baked lie against my personality. That my relationship with Hon. Okefe is more of a Son than a political associate and not even a business partner.
The allegation by the writer is not true as he can not prove the authenticity of the story. He failed to establish and build his story on facts as he is supposed to have published a copy of the said petition alleged to have emanated from me and/or a copy of the proof of financial transaction between me and Hon. Okefe.
The writer only intends to use my famous umbrella of acceptability to deceive the general public to believe his cock and bull stories targeted at the personality of the honourable deputy speaker.
Events, however, in the days to come may prove the story either right or wrong as the actions or inactions of the police will act as a pointer to what is actually going in.
The most important take away from this, nevertheless, is that the House of Assembly continues its dance of shame and threatens, because of the shenanigans of one man, to bring the Government of Governor Ortom into public odium.