Benue Govt Accuses Ex-Gov Ortom of Hiding Over 570 Bank Accounts

Benue Govt Accuses Ex-Gov Ortom of Hiding Over 570 Bank Accounts

  • A fresh discovery has been made over the past administration of ex-governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State
  • The former governor is accused of operating over 500 bank accounts during his tenure in office
  • However, the current administration revealed that he only presented 25 bank accounts upon exiting office

Makurdi, Benue - The Benue State government has accused the previous administration led by ex-Governor Samuel Ortom of operating a staggering 600 bank accounts.

The Commissioner for Finance and Budget Planning, Michael Oglegba, made this claim during a visit by members of the State Correspondents’ Chapel of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ).

Ortom, Alia, Benue
Ex-Gov Samuel Ortom is being accused of operating over 600 bank accounts. Photo Credit: @SamuelOrtom_/@benuestategovt
Source: Twitter

Oglegba said the revelation prompted Governor Hyacinth Alia to freeze all government accounts upon taking office.

Ortom submitted 25 bank accounts, says Benue govt

He disclosed that Alia was informed of only 25 accounts when he assumed office.

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He said information from the Nigerian Inter-Bank System, however, revealed that more than 600 accounts were associated with the state.

As reported by Daily Trust, he said:

“When we came in, we asked for the accounts and bank statements and we were presented with about 25 bank accounts. A causal look at the Nigerian Inter Bank System showed that Benue Government had more than 600 accounts.
“So the Governor needed to freeze those accounts to know exactly what was happening.”

Oglegba also addressed the state’s debt situation, emphasising that the Alia administration inherited a debt of over N359 billion, which includes debts from Local Government Arrears.

He said:

“The debts owed by the state itself was in excess of N200bn. This includes local and foreign debts. However, the LGAs also have their own debts, unpaid salaries, pensions, gratuities and local contractors that made up the other N150bn.

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Ortom reacts

Meanwhile, the former Governor Ortom, who left office in May of the same year, refuted the claim that he left behind a debt of N359 billion.

Ortom’s media aide, Terver Akase, argued that such allegations were baseless and amounted to an attempt to discredit his eight years in office.

He said:

"This narrative is not only false but is also a deliberate stratagem to snooker the people. Governor Ortom was explicit in his handover speech that though the debt situation of the State Government at the time of his exit from office might appear to be on the high side (N187.56 billion).”

Tension as gunmen abduct Benue information commissioner earlier reported how gunmen abducted Benue state commissioner of information, culture, and tourism, Matthew Abo.

Abo was with his family in Zaki Biam, Ukum local government area of the state, when he was abducted by the gunmen who came on motorcycles.

Benue has been one of the states hit hardest by years of disputes between nomadic herders and pastoral farmers.


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