Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State has urged Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to start the probe of security vote from the Presidency, if the anti-graft agency was not after him for dumping All Progressives Congress, APC.
Ortom had dumped the APC last week, with the EFCC commencing immediate probe of his security vote. The governor described his probe as a clear case of persecution and witch-hunting.
The governor, who made the call, yesterday, in a live state broadcast to the people in Makurdi, wondered why he would be singled out among all governors in the country for such probe. He advised the anti-graft agency to begin the probe from the Presidency.
He said: “So far, I am the only governor in Nigeria whose Security Vote is being investigated by the EFCC. Why should Benue case be different if not persecution? “If the EFCC wanted a genuine investigation of security vote spending they should have started from the Presidency right across the 36 states.
“If their focus was on Benue State they should have started from 1999 when Senator Akume was governor. But this is not the case. I want the whole world to know that all this is about persecution and a clear case of witch-hunting.
“With the enormous security challenges in the state since my assumption of office, it is surprising that any one would expect me to do nothing but keep the security vote in the safe.
“The security vote spending being investigated spans from 2015 to 2018, a period of grave security challenges in the state. I reiterate that the investigation is a clear case of persecution. “I have not misappropriated, diverted or stolen any money. I have nothing to hide. I assure that the investigators can find nothing incriminating against me.”
Ortom, who explained that he is being persecuted for enacting Anti-Open Grazing Law and his recent defection from the ruling APC to PDP wondered why, as a citizen of the country, he cannot associate with any party he wants. He maintained that he had to decamp from the APC because the interest of the Benue people and his interest were no longer being protected.