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NGF, PDP Kick As EFCC Freezes A’Ibom, Benue Accounts

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The Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) and Peoples Democratic Party,PDP yesterday condemned the freezing of the bank accounts of Akwa Ibom and Benue States’ accounts by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The NGF has described as unconstitutional the freezing of the accounts of Benue government by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Governor Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara, the chairman of NGF, spoke with State House correspondents after a closed door meeting with Acting President Yemi Osinbajo on yesterday in Abuja.
EFCC had on Tuesday frozen the state’s account which was confirmed by Terver Akase, the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Samuel Ortom.
Akwa Ibom State information commissioner, Charles Udoh, confirmed yesterday that “all bank accounts” have been frozen by the EFCC.
“If EFCC freezes the accounts of any state government, Benue or anywhere else, I think it is unconstitutional, it is not right, because you are shutting down government.
“Government must spend, more especially Benue where there are issues of insecurity.
“So, we do not know why the EFCC took the action. I do not think it is correct, but if it is correct, then my own point of view is wrong.
“But I believe this government will not sit down and oversee unlawful operations happening from the security agencies.
“From what happened yesterday, someone can understand that this government is following due process and laws of Nigeria.
“EFFC’s action in Benue is something that should be reversed,’’ he said.
Speaking on Tuesday’s blockade of the National Assembly, Yari said it was very unfortunate, but however, said that the attendant reaction by the acting president had vindicated the federal government in the eyes of local and international communities.

He recalled that similar incidents occurred in 2011 and 2014 respectively but no serious action was taken by the then government.
According to him, the government of Muhammadu Buhari is following due process and will never oversee unlawful activities within the security agencies.
Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State, who was also in the Presidential Villa, told correspondents that Tuesday’s incident at the National Assembly was an embarrassment which should not have been allowed to happen.
Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has charged President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately order the unfreezing of the official accounts of Akwa-Ibom and Benue states, which it alleged were illegally blocked by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The party said the freezing of the account is a direct attack on innocent Nigerians in those states.
The PDP while condemning the freezing of the state accounts as illegal and unconstitutional said it cannot be justified under any guise within the clear dictates and contemplation of the laws and practice of the nation.
The national publicity secretary of PDP, Kola Ologbondiyan, said his party rejects the action of the Federal Government and counsels the Buhari Presidency not to hide under the EFCC to unleash punishment and hardship on the people in states perceived to be averse to his 2019 re-election bid.
A statement signed by Ologbondiyan, added: “In illegally blocking the flow of funds to these states, the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led Federal Government has ostensibly commenced a reprehensible design of using economic deprivation as a political tool to arm-twist governors and states to support President Buhari’s re-election in 2019.
“Nigerians are all aware that no section of our constitution or any law in Nigeria for that matter confers any agency of the Federal Government with powers to interfere or put any restrictions on funds belonging or accruable to states as federating units of our nation.
“Apart from its State Assembly, no other government body or institution has the powers of appropriation or restrictions on any funds belonging to the state”,the statement said.

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