- Some members of the Benue state House of Assembly have made certain allegations against Governor Samuel Ortom as their reasons for moving to impeach him
- One of such lawmakers was Terkimbir Ikyange, the former speaker, who was recently impeached
- Speaking to newsmen on Monday, July 30, Ikyange alleged that Governor Ortom stole state funds amounting to N55 billion, accusing him of non-performance in office
Terkimbir Ikyange, the impeached speaker of the Benue state House of Assembly, has said on Monday, July 30, that the chamber has begun impeachment attempts against Governor Samuel Ortom.
This followed as another faction of the House under the new speaker, Honourable Titus Uba, said that they have suspended the entire Ikyange six-member committee for six months, The Nation reports.
Briefing journalists at his official residence after plenary, Ikyange stated that the House would communicate the notice of impeachment to the governor in seven days.
Ikyange led 12 lawmakers to plenary on Monday, July 30, under tight security, accusing Ortom of stealing state funds amounting to N55 Billion.
The former speaker said that Ortom stole N33 billion through reduction of local government funds and used another N22 billion to shop for political platform before he defected to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
Ikyange further said that due to the financial recklessness of Ortom, civil servants in the state are being owned seven months salaries, while local government are owned 11 month and pensioners 14 months. He said the impeachment moves against Ortom stems from his inaction as a governor.
However, Ortom described the accusation levied against him as false and baseless, adding that for the three years he worked with the former speaker, he did not raise the issue of fraud. Ortom wondered why the issue is coming now after he defected to the PDP.
Ortom said: “The only crime against me is I enacted “anti – Open grazing prohibition law which is the product of the People of Benue state.”
Ortom urged President Muhammadu Buhari to call the Inspector General of Police (IGP) and Department of State Security (DSS) to order, since “democracy is about rule of law", adding that eight members of the House cannot over rule 22 lawmakers. He said: “All that they are trying to do is to change the narratives against me and demobilized me.”
Earlier, Legit.ng reported that eight out of 30 lawmakers in Benue State House of Assembly had reportedly served an impeachment notice on Governor Samuel Ortom.
Tahav Agerzua, a spokesperson for Governor Ortom told newsmen on Monday, July 30, that the eight lawmakers had also taken over the premises of the state parliament with the alleged support of the police.
“They have taken over the House of Assembly and served the governor an impeachment notice despite a court order forbidding them from doing so,” Agerzua said.