The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) says it has intercepted bags full of cash believed to be meant for vote-buying at North Bank Area, Makurdi, Benue State.
According to a social media post by the EFCC, the anti-graft agency said it caught a man with large bags containing lots of money.
The EFCC added that information gathered by the agency confirmed that the money “allegedly belongs” to Mr. Emmanuel Jimeh, the governorship candidate of the APC in Benue.
It further stated that while trying to arrest the suspected vote-buying agent, officers of the Commission were attacked and their vehicles vandalized.
The EFCC twitted, “At the North Bank Area, Makurdi, a man was caught with large bags containing lots of money. While trying to arrest him, officers of the Commission were attacked and vehicles vandalised. Information gathered confirms that the money “allegedly belongs” to Emmanuel Jimeh, the gubernatorial candidate of the APC in Benue state”.
A Makurdi High Court has granted an exparte order, restraining the Speaker of the Benue State House of Assembly, Mr Titus Uba, and five others from carrying out any legislative sitting and responsibilities, pending the determination of the substantive suits.
Justice Theresa Igoche who had earlier restrained the impeached Speaker, Mr Terkimbi Ikyange, while ruling on a separate exparte motion brought by him, granted the order on Monday.
She ruled that all parties to the suits must maintain the status quo, pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suits.
According to the counsel to plaintiffs, Mr Mike Osuman (SAN), the exparte motion became necessary because of the adjourned date (August 15), which the lawmakers had agreed to reconvene the House before the 22 lawmakers moved for the impeachment of Mr Ikyange and his principal officers.
The judge, however, adjourned to August 15, hearing on the substantive suits which include the motion seeking to partially restrain Mr Ikyange as Speaker of the state assembly, having been impeached by the 22 lawmakers.
Ikyange was impeached on July 24 after a motion of no confidence was moved by Honourable Richard Ujege, the lawmaker represents Konshisha state constituency.
Mr Ikyange had rejected his impeachment declaring the process illegal.
The lawmakers, however, insisted that process had met all the constitutional requirements and subsequently suspended him after he was accused of mobilising police personnel to the assembly complex to deny members access to the chamber on July 27. ReadHere
The Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, has warned those raising false alarm and making inflammatory statements regarding the security situation in Makurdi, the State capital to desist from such acts or face arrest.
Governor Ortom states that such alarms create panic and give hoodlums the opportunity to harass, rob and even kill innocent people.
In a statement by the Chief Press Secretary, Terver Akase, the governor described as unfortunate, the tendency of some persons to exaggerate the situation thereby causing fear in the minds of the people.
He said the protests witnessed in the Benue State capital last week have since been brought under control, urging the police to apprehend anyone found to be fomenting trouble.
He urged residents of Makurdi to go about their normal activities without the fear of molestation and assist security agencies with timely and useful information to enable them perform their duty of safeguarding lives.
Governor Ortom also reassured Benue people of Government’s commitment to preventing further invasion and killings by herdsmen in parts of the state.
The Benue State Government has imposed a 6 pm to 6 am curfew on commercial motorcyclists after violence erupted in the state capital, Makurdi, on Saturday.
Governor Samuel Ortom who announced the decision after a security council meeting told journalists that the violence between indigenes and some non-indigenes, followed the killing of one person on Friday.
In the course of burying the dead, some aggrieved youths, however, went on a rampage destroying property and creating panic.
The violence prompted the emergency meeting of security council meeting and the decision to restrict the operation of commercial motorcycle operators.
Ahead of the meeting, the governor issued a statement through his Special Adviser on Media and ICT, Mr Tahav Agerzua, appealing to residents of the state to remain calm and report any breach of peace to security agencies.
This comes two days after the state government held a mass burial for 73 indigenes of the state who were murdered by suspected herdsmen.
The governor, while appealing for calm, told residents that the state has suffered too much loss in terms of human life and property and could not afford another round of crisis.
He condemned the protest and violence in Makurdi and directed the police to arrest those who cause trouble whoever they are, investigate the causes of the protests, and prosecute those responsible for breach of the peace.
Also, the governor assured the people that efforts would be intensified with the collaboration of the relevant security agencies to restore peace and order to all parts of the state.
The Benue State government has threatened to arrest any official caught diverting relief materials from the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camp set up in Makurdi for the victims of the flood in the state.
This warning by the government is following a stand-off between camp officials and the IDPs who demanded an explanation on the movement of relief materials out of the camp.
The deputy governor and chairman of the flood disaster management committee, in the state, Benson Abounu, issued the threats on Sunday following the alleged movement of relief materials without his approval.
But for the timely intervention of the Deputy Governor in the ensuing crisis, representatives of the IDPs were up against the camp management and the camp security which they accused of complicity in the unauthorized movement of the items.
The conflict between representatives of the IDPs and camp officials was almost turning into a free for all, before the attention of the deputy governor was drawn to the matter, upon arrival at the camp.
The National Emergency Management Agency, (NEMA), has started the environmental impact assessment of the Makurdi floods with a view to arriving at the needs of the floods victims, and enable it adequately plan for their rehabilitation.
The Director General of NEMA, Mr Mustapha Maihaja, revealed this while inspecting the floods disaster prone areas like Idye village, Kanshio, Achusa, Welfair Quarters and communities along Makurdi-Gboko road.
Relief materials include, food stuffs, building materials and beddings as part of the immediate needs of the displaced persons.
Meanwhile, the Commissioner for Environment and Water Resources has appealed to the Federal Government to urgently build more drainages as a dredge to River Benue.
He also noted that he would closely monitor the situation and will be receiving regular updates on the scale of the disaster, as well as the Federal Government’s humanitarian response.
He made this known on Thursday in a statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu.
“President Muhammadu Buhari has received with great concern reports of the flooding in Benue State, displacing, from early estimates, more than 100,000 people.
“The President extends his sympathies to the Government and people of Benue State, and assures that the Federal Government will make available any assistance needed to enable the State Government and the affected communities cope with and surmount the impact of the flooding,” the statement added.
The flood disaster in Makurdi has spread across major districts of Achusa and BIPC Housing Estate in the Benue State capital.
Following heavy rains which began on Sunday, August 27, more houses have been affected by the flood with over 3,000 houses submerged.
When Channels Television crew visited the Nyiman BIPC Housing Estate, victims said they are yet to get any form of help from the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).
Three days after the Makurdi metropolis was caught up in floods, houses were seen to have submerged up to lintel level while over 100 vehicles were trapped in the flood between the Housing Estate and Achusa districts of the state capital.
Some residents pushed their cars to safety along Doo Palace road in Achusa while others were salvaging household items into waiting vans for possible relocation from the flood.
One of the affected residents at the Media Village, Mr George Okoh, told Channels Television that the torrential floods severely hit his home.
Okoh said, “At about 1.00 am (Wednesday), the rains came heavier and when we woke up this morning, our rooms were completely flooded.”
“In fact, if not for some neighbours who alerted us, we would have probably drowned in the room and as you can see, the place is deserted and it is a major disaster.
“I have evacuated my family to a higher ground, they have gone to the family house and they will be there till we find a solution to the flood.”
At the BIPC Housing Estate, lady Kate Ijogi whose cars were submerged by flood appealed to the government to come to her aid.
She said, “My house is completely submerged, two of my cars are completely submerged, you can see one out here and the other one is inside the compound.”
“There was nothing I removed from my house because the water had gone up to the window level when we tried to escape. But I was able to rescue everybody in my house.
“I’m devastated and confused and I don’t know what to do. No help is coming from anywhere, we have called NEMA and every rescue agency but nobody has responded”.
On her part, a widow who also lives in the estate lamented the extent of damage the flood had done to the property passed onto the family by her late husband.
She said, “Government should do something because the flood is becoming too much for us. For someone like me, a widow with five children, we do not have anywhere to stay”.
“Our properties are still inside because, by the time they woke us up, we were unable to evacuate them. For properties like electronics, you cannot salvage them”.
The Nigerian Air Force has offered free medical services to host communities in Benue State, ahead of its planned exhibition of new fighter jets on Friday in Makurdi, the state’s capital.
Chairman of the Nigerian Air Force 53rd Anniversary Celebration Committee, Air Vice-Marshal Isiaka Amao, said the medical services covered all health conditions.
He added that those with severe cases would be referred to the Air Force Hospital for adequate care.
“We have two days of medical outreach and we have enough medical facilities. The Chief of Air Staff has given us enough to take care of the communities, you can see the ambulances in place. If there is a serious medical issue, we’ll take it to our own hospital,” he said.
Air Vice-Marshal Amao said the Air Force has recorded a number of feats in its counter terrorism operations, including the recently launched operation to check the activities of herdsmen in the state.
“In ensuring the security of the country, like in the North-east, we are able to decimate and sniff out Boko Haram terrorists from their enclaves and you can bear with me now that the spate of bombing has reduced drastically.
“If you go to the North-west and North-central, the Fulani herdsmen have also been dealt with very well. We launched an operation here in Makurdi recently to check the Fulani herdsmen disturbing the peace of indigenes,” he said.