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Former Benue Governor Ortom detained by EFCC

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is now holding, in their custody, Samuel Ortom, the former governor of Benue State.

According to reports, the anti-graft agency invited the former governor to be questioned about his administration.

However, Ortom arrived at the agency’s Makurdi zonal office, situated on Alor Gordon Street in the state capital on Tuesday.

Abraham Kwanhgu, the principal special assistant on special duties, and Terver Akase, the former governor’s media aide, were also seen with him.

Ortom transferred to Rev Father Hyacinth Alia’s administration a debt profile totaling N187.7 billion.

At a brief ceremony held in the former banquet hall of the Makurdi Government House, Ortom informed Alia that the three volumes of handover notes contained a summary of his eight years in office.

The governor stated that as of April, the state’s entire income during his eight years in office was N734.9 billion, but its total debt, which includes unpaid salaries, pension arrears, loans, and bonds among other things, was N187.7 billion.

He also informed Alia of a N97.716 billion debt swap/reduction agreement between the state and the federal government.

Ortom revealed that the proposed debt swap will be lowered to N45.2 billion with an anticipated inflow of N48 billion, after discount, bringing down the overall debt.

Ortom added that his government had already received permission for a N41 billion loan and a N20 billion Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) facility. He then advised that the Alia administration push for the release of the funds as soon as they took office.

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