The federal government has instituted a fresh corruption charge against the former Governor of Benue State, Gabriel Suswam, who is accused of diverting N9.79 alongside two others.
According to the court documents, the crime was committed between 2012 and 2015 when Suswam was governor of Benue State.
Part of the diverted funds was reportedly meant for a police reform programme and Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme, SURE-P.
The SURE-P initiative was set up by former President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration following the partial removal of fuel subsidy in 2012.
Two others charged alongside Suswam include former Benue State commissioner of finance, Omadachi Oklobia, and former accountant of the Benue State Government House Administration, Janet Aluga.
Suswam and the two others were accused of conspiracy, conversion of property derived directly from corruption; collaboration to conceal property derived from corruption; obtaining by false pretences and accepting cash payments, exceeding the amount authorised by law.
It would be recalled that a six-count charge bothering on alleged N7.5 billion fraud had been filed against Suswam earlier this year by the office of the Inspector-General of Police, IGP, at the Federal High Court, Abuja.
Similarly Oklobia and Aluga were also joined as co-accused persons in the charge.
Both Suswam and Oklobia are also standing a separate trial before Justice Ahmed Mohammed of the same division of the court for allegedly diverting about N3.1 billion belonging to the Benue State government.
Both had pleaded not guilty to the charges against them.