From Msughshima Andrew, Makurdi
The Benue State Executive Council has suspended the State Programme Manager, “Saving One Milion Lives”, Mr. Stanley Ugah, over allegations of embezzlement of N900 million.
The EXCO took the decision after Ugah appeared before the Council but could not convince it on how his office spent funds released to the “Saving One Milion Lives Programme” over a period of time.
Governor Samuel Ortom who presided over the Council meeting, said the suspension of the Programme Manager was to pave way for thorough investigation into the handling of over N900 million being part of the funds meant for the health scheme.
He said the investigation will also ascertain why Benue State took 35th position out of the 36 states in 2017 rating despite the huge sums available to the Programme.
Governor Ortom announced the setting up of a three-man Panel to investigate activities of the Programme under Dr Ugah.
The Panel which has Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Barrister Michael Gusa as Chairman, Commissioner for Health, Director General, Planning Commission and Special Adviser Economic Matters as members, is to submit its report within one week.
‘Saving One Million Lives’ is a scheme run in partnership between the Federal and State governments to expand access to essential primary health care services for women and children.
The EXCO also approved the extension of the years of service of the State Head of Service, Mrs Veronica Onyeke by two years.
Council commended Mrs Onyeke for her efcorts and dedication and urged her to continue to offer selfless service to the state. The HOS would have retired later this year.