Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State on Wednesday said he would drag the Minister of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs, Senator George Akume, to court to prove allegations against his administration.
Ortom, who gave the hint while briefing journalists in Makurdi, accused the minister of peddling falsehood against him during a media parley in Abuja.
Akume had asked the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) to thoroughly investigate the application of the total federal allocations to Benue State from May 29, 2015, to date.
He also expressed outrage over Ortom’s tirade often directed at President Muhammadu Buhari and asked the governor to tender an unreserved apology to Buhari for using foul language and for operating outside the set rules of engagement between the state and the federal governments.
“I’m taking Akume to court for him to come and prove all the allegations against me. I have not done anything outside the constitution of our land. He will go and prove all the falsehood, lies he told against me in court,” Ortom said.
The governor added that Akume, who the citizens elected twice as a governor and thrice as a senator to represent them, had not only betrayed the confidence they reposed in him, but also stabbed them at the back.
In a similar development, the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) in Benue State has condemned the minister’s call for an emergency rule in the state.
State Chairman of PDP, Sir John Ngbede, at a press conference in Makurdi noted that “the major demand of Senator Akume at the Abuja outing which he sold his soul to the devil is a declaration of a state of emergency in Benue State. This implies a dissolution of all democratic structures in the state and the foisting of a surrogate government that will pander to his whims and caprices.
“The stooges which he would personally install under an emergency rule would make the purse of the state available for him to dip his hands into it just like he did in the last days of his administration in 2007 when he left Government House with a truck of N2 billion trailing behind him.
“Having been starved of funds in his nebulous office of Minister of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs, Senator Akume has high hopes of resurrecting the installation of stooges through which he could reach state government coffers. He attempted this in 2007 with Governor Gabriel Suswam, and with Governor Samuel Ortom in 2015.”
Ngbede further said that the fabrications of figures in Senator Akume’s press conference, the panegyric for President Muhammadu Buhari, the demonizing of Governor Ortom, the denial of attacks on Benue people, the lack of mention of the over 1.5 million IDPs in various camps across the state were all targeted at access to Benue State government funds.