- Governor Samuel Ortom expresses his readiness to waive his executive immunity and face prosecution, if need be, for the criminal allegations against him
- Ortom describes baseless the allegations that he defrauded the state government to fund his private businesses
- The governor says the expansion of the business conglomerate which he established before he became governor was funded from bank loans
Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue state on Sunday, January 21, declared that he was ready to waive his immunity to face prosecution if need be, following allegations of fraud levelled against him by All Progressives Congress in the state.
Guardian reports that Ortom said the current smear campaign against him by the APC in the state indicated that the opposition party had nothing to tell the people ahead of the general elections.
The governor who made this known at a thanksgiving mass organised for him by the Isherev and Utyondu communities in Guma and Makurdi councils at St. Francis Mission in Daudu described baseless allegations that he defrauded the state government to fund his private businesses.
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He explained that the expansion of the business conglomerate which he established before he became governor was funded from bank loans.“Before I became governor, I was an established industrialist.
He stressed: ''Though I no longer manage the companies which I set up, they are being expanded from loans obtained from various financial institutions, and the records are there.”
He described as false and mischievous allegations from leaders of a political party that he had diverted public funds into his private businesses in Nigeria and abroad.
The recent utterances of APC leaders in Benue state, he asserted, showed that the opposition is bereft of ideas to win votes in the coming elections.
Ortom denied setting up any business abroad and stated that he might take legal action against those who made the allegations.
In his sermon, Rev. Fr. Barnabas Shaagee, admonished Christians to involve Jesus Christ in all their endeavours, so that he would contribute positively in their lives, like he did at the wedding in Cana.
Akase, in a statement, described such move as a confirmation that the anti-graft agency has not only lost its neutrality but also conceded its constitutional role to the APC.
According to Akase, the move by APC leadership to interrogate Atiku shows that the Buhari administration is clearly on a voyage of misplaced priorities while also usurping functions of the country’s institutions, which ought to be independent.
Akase said: “EFCC is now the witch-hunt tool in the hand of APC selectively unleashed on opponents of the government in power.
This is contrary to the EFCC Act of 2004, which emphasises that the commission treats all persons and cases it investigates without bias or prejudice.”“We are confident that the current attempt by the Buhari administration to smear the reputation of Atiku Abubakar will end as another vain chase like the previous ones.”
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had reported Governor Samuel Ortom said if he had the capacity, he would pay the state workers above N30,000 as minimum wage. Ortom stated this on Tuesday, January 8, in Makurdi while addressing members of the Nigeria Labour Congress.
Members of the union embarked on a peaceful protest to express their grievances over the delay in the implementation of the new national minimum wage of N30,000.
The governor, who sympathised with the workers, said the state cannot afford to pay the new wage. He, however, stated that the present N18,000 minimum wage was no longer enough due to the economic situation.
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