Nigerian Concord Newspaper
Benue State governor, Reverend Father Hyacinth Alia has explained why he removed the name of the chairman of his asset recovery committee, Mr. Hinga Biem from the list of his commissioner nominees.
Recall that the Speaker of the Benue State House of Assembly, Aondona Dajoh today read out the names of the commissioner nominees sent to the House by Governor Alia without Hinga Biem’s name being mentioned.
Nigerian Concord Newspaper gathered that Hinga Biem’s name was on the commissioner nominees list but the governor had to remove the name owing to pressures and discoveries that he (Biem) stole some of the assets he recovered for the state government.
Speaking at a meeting with members of his inner caucus led by his Chief of Staff, Paul Biam this evening, Governor Alia reportedly mentioned it that he would not allow a “thief” (referring to Hinga Biem) work in his Cabinet.
Alia reportedly told his people that it was when he confirmed that Hinga Biem actually stole two of the cars which were taken away from the automobile shop of London Line in Makurdi that he removed his name as the commissioner to represent Gwer in his administration.
A dependable Government House source said that Alia set up a secret committee to investigate an allegation from London Line that it was thirty two cars that were taken away from its shop whereas Hinga Biem only handed over thirty cars to the state government.
“It was during the secret investigation that it was discovered that Hinga Biem stole the remaining two cars and he has since begged for forgiveness and has also returned the stolen two cars to the state government ” the source said.
Nigerian Concord Newspaper had last month reported that the Chairman of the State Assets Recovery Committee, Mr. Hinga Biem was being questioned over the whereabouts of two cars out of many that had been recovered by the committee which was recently set up by Governor Hyacinth Alia.
Governor Alia had set up the Assets Recovery Committee and made Hinga Biem the chairman in order to recover some properties from the immediate past administration led by Chief Samuel Ortom PhD.
Shortly after the committee was set up, the governor jettisoned the genuine plans and chose to use the same committee to harass, insult and witch-hunt his predecessor.
The committee had illegally invaded the private automobile workshop of London Line and forcefully took cars that were brought there for repairs.
Despite that the State Executive Council under Chief Samuel Ortom had met and approved that he and his then deputy, Benson Abounu should leave with their official cars, Governor Alia still chose to put his predecessor through media trial and public embarrassment, an action which has attracted public sympathy to the former governor.
According to reports reaching this newspaper, two out of the cars that had been recovered were reportedly taken to an unknown destination by Hinga Biem.
Efforts to cover up this dirty act by those close to the governor were aborted as the news had already been taken to the media by an undisclosed aggrieved member of the Assets Recovery Committee.