Plateau run-off: Gov Lalong diverted N20bn IDPs fund for re-election, says Useni

Plateau run-off: Gov Lalong diverted N20bn IDPs fund for re-election, says Useni

- All is now set for the supplementary elections in Plateau state

- The leading candidates in the election have been trading words in the days leading to the exercise

- The governorship candidate of the PDP, Gen. Jeremiah Useni (rtd) has accused Governor Simon Lalong of corruption

The governorship candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Plateau state, General Jeremiah Useni (rtd) has alleged that Governor Simon Lalong used the N20 billion support fund for rehabilitation of Internally Displaced Persons ( IDPs) to prosecute his re-election into office.

Useni, a former minister of the FCT and current senator representing Plateau South Senatorial District in the National Assembly, alleged that Governor Lalong deliberately refused to use the fund to rebuild communities that were destroyed during attacks in the state, but diverted the monies for personal use.

He made the allegation while briefing journalists on the forthcoming supplementary election in the state, stressing that he is ready for the election.

READ ALSO: Benue run-off: Jime wants restriction of PDP chieftains movement

His words: “We are aware that the governor squandered N20 billion that was meant for rehabilitation of IDPs to their ancestral homes to prosecute his re-election into office. Lalong would have to account for such money at the appropriate time.

“I promised the people of Plateau that I will stand by them and protect their votes; I also cautioned that I will not accept rigging. Today, I still stand by my words.

“After due consultation, we’ve decided to take specific legal steps to address areas of concern in the last elections. These include a petition to INEC, and we hope they will look into it as quickly as possible; for my candidature is aimed at restoring our lost glory as a people and state.”

According to Daily Sun, he also warned against the deployment of security personnel to harrass and intimidate people at the polling units and collation centres, urging them to remain neutral.

He said there was no reason for the governorship election in Plateau to be declared inconclusive by Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) if votes were not allocated to Governor Lalong.

Useni reiterated his position that he would spend only one tenure of four years and hand over leadership to Plateau Central senatorial district, if favoured by the rerun.

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Meanwhile, a chieftain of the PDP in Benue state, Mr. Terkula Ati, on Wednesday, March 20, dragged the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress Emmanuel Jime, to the Federal High Court, Makurdi, over allegation of money laundering and electoral fraud.

Also joined in the suit were Jime’s personal aide, Joseph Manasseh, INEC and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) as 2nd, 3rd and 4th respondents respectively.

The applicant is seeking a court order on INEC and EFCC (3rd and 4th respondents) to immediately arrest and prosecute the 1st and 2nd respondents, Jime and Manasseh.

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