Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
The Benue State Government has dispelled as mere rumour, allegation that it had diverted the bailout funds meant to pay salaries of local government staff.
Special Adviser to Governor Samuel Ortom on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs Mr. Titus Zam who denied the allegation while briefing newsmen at a press briefing to highlight his three years scorecard said nobody had been able to prove that over three N3 billion was diverted under his watch.
“There is no proof that N3billion was diverted neither has any security agency invited me for questioning. We have instead saved over N2billion. Staff of Taraku Mill who took us to court have no business with local government. They procured judgement and our account has been garnished. We have however, appealed the judgement and hope to get justice at the end.”
Zam explained further that payment of genuine local government staff was ongoing when workers of Taraku Mills who have no business with local government affairs went to court and secured judgement against the Bureau which has already been appealed.
He also intimated that new Toyota Hilux vehicles were purchased at the cost of N19 million each for the 23 local government chairmen, adding that payment for the vehicles have been spread in three installments.
The Special Adviser noted further that government had continued to ensure stability in the chieftaincy institution in the State with the installation of 10 first class chiefs and 44 second class chiefs, stressing that since the assumption of office of the present administration, no chief has been deposed.