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Benue: Group Urges Buhari To Probe Akume, Jime Over Campaign Funds

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The Jemgbagh Youth Alliance (JYA) has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to probe the Minister of Special Duties, Senator George Akume.

The group in a statement on Tuesday by its President, Ternenge Bendega, accused the former Benue State governor allegedly handling N2bn campaign fund of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Benue State.

The group also called for the investigation and prosecution of the APC governorship candidate the in 2019 election Emmanuel Jime for vote-buying.

The statement reads: “At a time the country is passing through difficult times, we wonder from which sources APC was able to raise N2 billion to give to Akume, Emmanuel Jime, the governorship candidate and others for the campaign to lavish. More curious is the manner Akume and co-managed the funds.

“It is no longer news that the combined forces of APC which boasted about “federal might” crumbled like a pack of cards in Benue State. Governor Ortom and his PDP team were unanimously returned elected.

“On the eve of the governorship election, Senator Akume and others were seen sharing large sums of money ostensibly meant for vote-buying but instead of sending the money to their agents, they pocketed it. The development angered some of their members who vowed to ensure the defeat of the party.

“You will recall that Jime was caught with raw cash on the day of the election. That money was part of the N2 billion campaign funds he and Akume diverted. He ran away but his aides were arrested.

“We also demand the prosecution of Jime and those aides. Such a heinous electoral crime should not be allowed to go unpunished. Jime is also facing likely prosecution for diverting N14.3 billion of Nigeria Export Promoting Zones Authority, NEPZA funds to a private company. The Senate is investigating the fraud and we hope that justice will be served.”

The group also stated that Senator Akume has a record of public funds diversion, adding that the former governor is yet to account for the N2 billion misappropriated towards the end of his second tenure as Governor in 2007.

JYA alleged that Senator Akume used the money to campaign for the seat of Senate President but lost to Senator David Mark.

“Akume is a liquor induced personality who has arrogated to himself powers of God. In 2007, while presenting his profile at the Senate chamber while contesting for the seat of Senate President, Akume contradicted himself by saying he became Governor in 1949 and 1979.

“Last year, we all watched with utmost shame and disappointment, the presentation of the Vice-Chairman, Senate Committee on Army, Senator Abdullahi Danbaba who rightly blamed the committee’s non-performance on poor leadership by Senator George Akume who was chairman of the committee. That was the highest embarrassment Benue has ever suffered in the hands of any of its representatives at the National Assembly,” the group added.



Ogbolu George is a graduate of Mass Communication from the University of Benin. He loves politics, is a movie addict and a die-hard Arsenal fan. George is a Senior Content Creator at Naija News.