Freezing Benue State account unconstitutional – Governors

Chairman of Nigerian Governors’ Forum, Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara State, North West Nigeria, said on Wednesday that the freezing of the accounts of the Benue State government was unconstitutional.

There were reports in the media that the accounts of the Benue State government in three banks were frozen by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Tuesday.

But Yari, who spoke with State House correspondents after a meeting with Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, said the action of the anti-graft agency “is not right because you are shutting down government.”

He said:  “Government must spend, especially in Benue where the state is battling with insecurity.”

Yari said he was not sure that the report of the freezing of the account was correct, but insisted that it was wrong for the state account to be frozen.

“ I don’t know why EFCC took this action; I don’t think it is correct, but if it is correct, my own point of view is that it is wrong,” he said.

He said the government of President Muhammadu Buhari would not “sit down and oversee unlawful operation by security agencies.”

Governor Yari said that the Buhari administration was following due process, pointing out that the sack of the former director of the Department of Security Services by Acting President Osinbajo following the invasion of the National Assembly by the security agency showed that government commitment to the rule of law.

“That gives credit to this government both here and in the international community,” he said, adding that a similar thing happened in 2011 and 2014, but the government then did not do anything about it.

“The government of Muhammadu Buhari is following due process and will never oversee unlawful activity within its agencies and departments.  So, that action in Benue, I believe definitely something shall be done and must be done,” he said.

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