Facts have emerged that the former Governor of Benue State, Rt. Hon. Dr. Gabriel Torwua Suswam, reconstructed the Atom Kpera lodge at N185 milllion and later sold the property to himself at N4 million.
Information reliably gathered indicated that the Benue state executive council meeting held on Thursday October 2, 2008 approved the award of the contract for the designs, reconstruction and furnishing to M/S METROPOLE DEVELOPMENT LTD at N185,500,502.80
The amount was reduced from a quotation from the company which had quoted N221,424,478.30.
The council directed the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport to enter into a contract agreement with M/S METROPOLE DEVELOPMENT LTD to carry out the job and the Ministry of Finance to release the amount quoted above to the ministry to pay the contractor and this was carried out accordingly.
This was part of the irregularities that characterised the sale of the lodge
According to findings, application for the property was made on June 26, 2007 but the date of the allocation was May 29, 2007. The payment for the property which was supposed to be made within six months of allocation was not effected until September 27, 2012.
These were clear cases of the manipulation of the due process and non-conformity with the stipulated known terms and agreements of purchase.
In making the revocation the state government duly sent out the letter of revocation to the appropriate addresses of the former governor.
The notice of revocation was also published in The Nation newspaper of November 16, 2015.
Dr Suswam went to court to challenge the revocation but his case was dismissed.
At the moment, there is no subsisting court order restraining the take over of the property.
Indeed, the Honourable Justice Theresa Igoche on an application for a stay of execution in her ruling of 29th April 2016 stated that the application lacked merit and dismissed it accordingly.
The brazen illegality perpetrated in the allocation of the property was characteristic of the impunity of Suswam’s era when government property and funds were abused without restraint forcing the state to its knees.