By Alex Ter Adum
Ordinarily, I have always restrained myself from joining issues with anyone on my 2years and 11months stewardship as a member of the Benue State Executive Council under H. E, Gabriel Torwua Suswam Ph. D, CON. Most especially, because many who comment on my stewardship do so on social media out of pure political prejudice nuanced by pettiness and misconception.Take for instance, the online and print media reports in the Nation newspaper of Monday, 11th Oct 2015 on page 42, where it is reported that the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Mr. Terstea Ikyaabo, while testifying before the Justice Kpojime Commission said that I, Alex Adum was a director and signatory with Mr.
Augustine Odey to the account of Benue Integrated Markets Development Company Limited (BEMICO). An account said to be maintained at Diamond Bank Makurdi branch, from which various sums of money totalling about N90 million were withdrawn on the 28-29 May 2015.
Nothing can be further from the truth, as the above submission if it were ever made by the Permanent Secretary as reported, is TOTALLY FALSE and MISLEADING. The truth is that, through out my 2yrs and11 months sojourn in the State’s public service, I was never a signatory to any MDA account. For starters, I was on the Board of Benue Brewery Ltd and BEMICO in an Ex Officio capacity as the Hon. Commissioner for Commerce & Industry. These positions were not management positions and couldn’t have warranted my being signatory to the accounts of these entities. Be that as it may, my membership of these boards also lapsed upon my reassignment to the Ministry of Justice on the 26th of March 2012, whereupon I handed over to my successor Mr. Terfa Atoza Ihindan.
As part of the handover procedure, I wrote letters of resignation from the boards of the two companies and was officially removed from same and a new form CO7 filed at the CAC accordingly. My name and that of Augustine Odey however, will continue to reflect on all the pre incorporation documents, like the memo and articles of incorporation prepared and executed by Mr. odey and my humble self as the then incumbent Permanent Secretary and Hon. Commissioner respectively. These documents by law require no consequential changes. This is the status quo with regards to all other government owned companies incorporated during the incumbency of all my predecessors in office who were however removed from such boards at the end of their tenure in office, but their names still reflect on the pre incorporation documents as directors and shareholders of the said companies, while in actual fact the current form CO7 bears the names of the current directors and not the subscribers to the memo and articles of incorporation. This is so even with private companies which may have post incorporation changes to it’s board by the admission of new members. These changes can not be reflected in the memo and articles already executed and filed. The submission of the memo and articles to the commission tells the history of the Company from incorporation, it doesn’t tell the story of its present status. The story of BEMICO as at May 28-29 2015, had the immediate past commissioner of commerce and industry as my successor on the Board. Mr. Ihindan, can be contacted to confirm the veracity of these facts and a due diligence search at CAC will suffice.
It is also important to point out that govt financial regulations does not permit a political appointee to be signatory to any govt account. So through out my public service sojourn I only acted as approving authority and not signatory to any public sector account. The BEMICO account is said to maintained in Diamond Bank Mkd branch, so the Ministry of Commerce and industry must be directed to obtain and submit the bank statement or the Bank can be subpoenaed to produce the bank statement on the BEMICO account. Good enough, the beneficiaries of the withdrawals are also identified so it is easy to reach them to enquire what services they rendered to warrant the payments and who authorized it.
Finally, let me state for the records that, I am not a DIRECTOR nor was I ever a SIGNATORY to BEMICO account and I was not privy to the Company setting up an account with any bank, the said Manager of BEMICO Mr. Sam Tor is not even well known to me and the beneficiaries of the withdrawals are not in anyway known to me as well. I have also protested this misinformation to Mr. Tertsea Ikyaabo who was quoted and he has denied ever making such a bizarre submission at the commission. This I hope suffices for now pending when I will ever have an opportunity at the commission or any other forum to render my account of stewardship in the public service of Benue State, or seek REDRESS at the appropriate forum for this mischievous and vexatious libel.
Adum Ter Alex
Former Attorney General/Commissioner for Justice, Benue state.