Ortom asks EFCC to probe RUGA funds, threatens to sue NASS over Water Bill

Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State has called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), to investigate how money released for the RUGA project was expended.

The governor made the call yesterday during a courtesy visit on him by the new leadership of the Tiv socio-cultural group, “Mzough U Tiv’, led by its president, General Iorbee Ihagh (Comptroller of Prison (rtd)) at the government house, Makurdi.

Ortom said that he learnt reliably that money was released and contracts awarded but it was never implemented.

The governor who condemned the manner he said the federal government was trying to grab land to the Fulani herdsmen through initial cattle colony, RUGA and now Water Resources Bill threatened to institute legal action against the national assembly if it proceeds to pass the bill into law.

According to him, “EFCC Should probe the contractors who were given the contract to build RUGA.

“I was reliably informed that contracts were awarded to construct RUGA across the states. When Benue rejected it, the project was stepped down but where is the money?

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“EFCC Should go after the contractors. If this government is seen fighting corruption, then the RUGA settlement project should be Investigated.

“You can imagine, the River Katsina Alla and the ones in my village taken away in the guise of water resources law.

“Let me say this, if the National Assembly passes the Water Resources Bill which was sent as an executive bill by the President, I will take them to court. Water Bill will not be accepted here in Benue State.

In his remark, the President-General, Iorbee Ihagh noted that in 2018, the National Water Resources Bill was rejected by the 8th Assembly and wondered why it is been revisited by the present government.

“We will not accept the bill. We will urge our members at the National Assembly to vote against the bill or we will tell the electorate not to vote them for the second term”, he said.

It will be recalled that eleven states were earmarked for the pilot scheme of the RUGA project and was widely reported Federal government budgeted 2.25 billion naira in the 2019 budget for the RUGA settlement project.



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