Benue state chapter of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) has hailed the state Governor, Samuel Ortom for his decision to approach the court of law to seek redress against Minister of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs, George Akume, in a N60 billion suit.
The party also noted that the decision of the governor to resort to the law courts, rather than fight Akume dirty over his allegations against Ortom, was commendable.
Bemgba Iortyom, State Publicity Secretary of the PDP who disclosed this in a statement made available to newsmen in Makurdi on Saturday, hailed Ortom “for his preference for legality over the jungle in resolving disputes.”
He further patted Governor Ortom for the move, which, he observed was a better place to defend himself, instead of engaging the former governor on the pages of newspapers.
According to Iortyom, “The Benue State Governor is aggrieved and feels injured by allegations levied against him by the Minister in a press conference on 30th August 2021, among which were that he has misappropriated billions of naira from public coffers and is running militia which is responsible for killings and acts of insecurity in the state.
“Benue PDP applaud the governor for being such a law-abiding citizen who prefers the civilized option of seeking redress to injuries through the law courts and by so doing has blazed a path towards strengthening and deepening the litigation culture, which to a great extent defines the level of civilisation and orderliness in society.
“By approaching the law courts over the allegations made against him by Akume, Governor Ortom has yet again lifted civilisation higher above the jungle and by so doing further distinguished his era from previous ones when the tendency to resort to jungle approaches at the highest levels of state power was an option.
“By this preference of Governor Ortom to abide by the rule of law, there has occurred the virtual death of thuggery among youths in the state: he has consistently maintained that he does not have use for thugs or militia, as such he does no patronise them, and this much is publicly evident with none to be found with him under whatever guise.”
The PDP spokesperson insisted that the decision Governor Ortom has made to defend himself in court was far better than engaging Akume in the media.
He pointed out that “For those who have been of the opinion that Governor Ortom should have taken to the media to defend those allegations point after point, there could be no better place to do such defending other than the law courts which the governor has approached.
“There an impartial arbiter in the person of the judge will listen to both parties and determine without fear or favour who is telling the truth and who is not.
“Before the courts of law partisan bigotry such as runs in both supporters of Governor Ortom and Minister Akume will not be the determinant for judging what is true and what isn’t.
“In this case too the court will look at the facts before it and decide impartially if Ortom as governor has stolen state funds and is responsible for acts of insecurity in Benue state, as Akume alleged, or if the accusations so levied and now before the court are false hence injurious to the person and reputation of the governor.
“Benue PDP commend Governor Samuel Ortom for this and urge him to remain steadfast on the task of providing good governance to the people under his mandate and seeking at all times their peace, security and wellbeing, as he is doing.”
He recalled that the Governor had at other times resorted to the law courts for justice, as evidenced in the suit against the former national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, when he levied allegations of complicity in killings in Benue against Governor Ortom.
Also recall that Oshiomhole, a former governor of Edo state had tendered a public apology to Governor Ortom.