Governors of the 36 states in Nigeria under the auspices of Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) have engaged the services of lawyers to challenge the probe of states’ security votes by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Jigawa State governor, Abubakar Badaru disclosed this at the end of the monthly National Economic Council (NEC) meeting held yesterday at the Presidential Villa and presided over by the acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo. The meeting was attended by Governor Samuel Ortom, who was represented by his deputy, Engr Benson Abounu.
The anti-graft agency had in an unprecedented manner, initiated a process to probe the security votes of Governor Ortom, and temporarily frozen the accounts of Benue and Akwa Ibom states, drawing the wrath of the state chief executives.
Governor Badaru who stated that lawyers had been instructed to investigate the cases disclosed that the matter was also discussed at its monthly meeting on Wednesday.
Also, speaking, chairman of the NGF and Zamfara State governor, Abdulaziz Yari insisted that anti-graft agencies must adhere strictly to due process and not engage in illegalities such as freezing the accounts of state governments or engaging in the probe of the security votes.
He stated that while the governors support the present administration’s effort to curtail corruption, they were however uncomfortable with some of the actions taken by the nation’s anti-corruption agencies.
“We believe strongly that the government of President Muhammadu Buhari will not sit down and supervise this illegality in the system.
“What we are saying now is that we are going to support the government in terms of what it is doing to fight corruption, but the due process must be respected in whatever action the agencies are going to take in the name of fighting corruption.”
Terver Akase, Chief Press Secretary to Governor Samuel Ortom had on Wednesday, alerted the nation of a demand by the EFCC to the state to produce details of the State Security Council meetings between 2015 and 2018.