Suswan’s Headache | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Suswan’s Headache

Posted: Sep 30, 2015 at 12:31 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Magnus Ugwubujor


The immediate past governor of Benue State, Gabriel Suswan is, without doubt, a familiar political figure when it comes to allegation of corruption ever since he came into political reckoning. From an alleged certificate forgery in the run up to his election as the governor of Benue State in 2007 to a stream of other corruption allegations ranging from misappropriation of funds, dishonesty, lack of transparency and disservice to the people during his tenure as the governor.

man-in-the-newsAt the moment, it seems the erstwhile governor of Benue State is caught in the web of alleged corrupt dealings during his administration in the State. Media reports recently revealed that the Judicial commission of Inquiry investigating the sale of government property and shares during Suswan’s administration has discovered that the former governor diverted a whooping N7.7 billion Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P) funds that accrued to Benue State government from the Federation Account, which has not been accounted for. This discovery was made when the judicial commission of inquiry sitting in Markurdi, the Benue state capital was told about the unaccounted SURE-P funds. Wittingly or unwittingly, the Benue state Head of Service (HoS), Mr Iwanta Adaikwu, represented by the permanent secretary, Administration, Mr Joseph Oko, reportely told the commission that though the HoS is the Chairman of the Programme in the State, the office lacked knowledge of its financial transactions. Oko further told the panel that the HoS who is the Chairman of the SURE-P committee set up by government received only N25 million from the scheme.  “The office of the Head of Office, who served as the Chairman of the secretariat of the SURE-P committee, did not have access to the details of the funds allocated the state since its inception.”

In fact, observers have said that the panel has gathered overwhelming evidence indicting Mr Suswan in the management of the said funds. However, many of them are cynical about the outcome of such investigation considering that such have not yielded any results in the past. However, there are still a handful of observers who have maintained an optimistic outlook on the current President Muhammadu Buhari’s anti corruption crusade which they believe must have ignited the inquiry in the first place.

Be that as it may, keen followers of what is playing out in Benue State are aghast over the breathtaking and monumental alleged corruption case just uncovered against Suswan. Of course, analysts as well as Benue state citizens are now keen to know how this whole saga would be handled. The questions are: would the panel be able to successfully prosecute Suswan based on these findings? Or is it going to be one of the normal charades that Nigerians are familiar with? Time will tell.