…Benard Odoh willing to subject self to EFCC investigation
The former Secretary to the State Government in Ebonyi State, Professor Benard Odoh has written to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to investigate alleged misappropriation of the 2016 N2 billion Naira Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) agricultural loan meant for the State.
According to the letter dated 26th May 2020 sighted by Nigeria Today News, the huge N2 billion released in 2016 by the CBN as intervention fund was clearly misappropriated.
“I write to report to you the misappropriation of the 2016 N2 billion Naira CBN Agricultural loan facility meant for farmers of Ebonyi State, and to request for an urgent thorough investigation of the management and whereabouts of the fund,” the letter read.
In the letter, Professor named the members of the team saddled with the responsibility to disburse the funds to peasant farmers in the state to include Barrister Uchenna Orji, Mr. Ogbodu Daniel, Barrister Dennis Ekumankama, Dr. Emmanuel Onwe, Mr. Itapa Azobu, Mrs. Queen Agwu, Prof. Happiness Oselebe, Prof. Abraham David, Mr. Sunday Ituma, Dr. Nwakpu, Engr. Ogbuagu and himself Professor Benard Odoh.
According to the letter, Odoh had claimed that before his resignation from government on the 2nd of April 2018, he and Barrister Orji submitted a detailed report on 2016 Rice Production and Loan Recovery that would facilitate the implementation of the loan in form of disbursement and recovery of the said loan.
Prof. Odoh maintained that the investigation is necessary following the live broadcast made by Ebonyi State Governor, Engr. David Umahi on May 20, 2020, stating that the N2 billion Naira Rice Loan fund had disappeared into the hands of ghosts workers and could not be recovered.
In the letter, the former Ebonyi Scribe stated: “This cannot be true about the CBN N2 billion Naira Agriculture loan fund which beneficiaries were drawn from rural areas, civil servants and political appointees who respectively had verified and verifiable guarantors.”
The academic who urged the anti-graft agency not to spear him in the investigation added: “It is my earnest prayer that you use your good office to urgently commence a thorough investigation of members of Ebonyi State Executive Council Committee on the N2 billion CBN Agriculture loan fund including myself.
“Arrest and prosecute all those found to have misappropriated in part or whole the N2 Billion CBN Agriculture loan fund for farmers of Ebonyi State.”
According to him, the investigation will further strengthen the fight against corruption which has been an integral element of President Muhammadu Buhari administration.