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Ortom, PDP take on Akume over graft allegation, governor considers legal option

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Ortom. Photo/facebook/benuestategovernment

Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State has threatened legal action against the Minister of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs, Senator George Akume, over allegations of corruption in the past six years of his administration.

Addressing newsmen at the Banquet Hall of Government House, Makurdi, Ortom said the onus was on the former governor to prove the allegations against him.

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His words: “I am taking Akume to court for him to prove all the allegations against me. The onus of proof lies on him. He should go and prove it in court. I have chosen to take the honourable way.

“I want to let the world know about the recent ranting by Minister of Special Duties. I don’t want to join issues with him, but I have to put the record straight. What he has done amounts to betrayal. All he said were mere lies to secure his meal ticket from his paymasters.”

While noting that the minister and his All Progressives Congress (APC) no longer has a structure in the state, Ortom said that in the last election, the PDP won three senatorial seats, seven out of 11 House of Representatives seats and 22 out of 30 House of Assembly seats. He wondered what remains of Akume’s structure in the state.

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He asserted that though the Benue people elected Akume twice as governor and three times as senator, he never identified with them during their moment of displacement occasioned by herders’ attacks.

IN the same vein, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Benue State chapter, has taken a swipe on Akume for inviting the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to probe Ortom’s administration.

The PDP, during a press conference, yesterday, in Makurdi, said it had no problem with the call for an investigation, but noted that “he who comes to equity must come with clean hands.”

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The Benue PDP Chairman, John Ngbede, said based on available records, “all the anti-graft agencies have carried out periodic investigations of Ortom’s administration countless times and are free to continue with the exercise.”

He, however, added that the EFCC might need to take a second look at Akume’s file with them, as records indicated that he had cases with them and was once bailed by Terngu Tsegba when he was arrested by the agency sometime back.

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