Why Governor Alia cannot probe me – Ortom

The immediate past governor of Benue state, Samuel Ortom, has claimed there is no reason for the Governor Hyacinth Alia-led administration to do same again.

Alia in February, set up two separate panels to investigate the management of the state’s finances and assets under Ortom’s past administration.

The ex-Governor made his position known in an ex-parte motion filled at the Makurdi High Court presided over by Justice T. Asua restraining the Commission of inquiry into the funds (income and expenditure) of Benue State Government from May 29th, 2015 to May 28th, 2023, from sitting pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.

Counsel to Chief Ortom, Oba Maduabuchi, a Senior Advocate, told the court that the grounds of the application were that, “the Auditor General is imbued with powers under the 1999 Constitution (as amended) to investigate and probe the finances of the state.

“And the Auditor General had already investigated, probed, audited and certified the accounts of the Benue State Government and had submitted his reports to the Benue State House of Assembly as authorized by the 1999 constitution (as amended).”

According to him, the State Assembly had also acted on the said report of the Auditor General, “as also authorized by the constitution and all the terms of reference listed in paragraph 3(a)-(o) of the Benue State Gazette No. 17, Vol. 49 of February 27, 2024, have already been investigated and probed by the Auditor General, who wrote reports and submitted to the State Assembly, which also acted on same.

“The said report of the Auditor General was published in several Benue State Gazettes, which are public documents.”

The counsel contended that in view of the above facts, “the Governor of Benue State lacks the powers to constitute the income and expenditure commission and the Commission lacks the jurisdiction to sit and investigate matters listed as items in the gazette and the action of the Governor constitutes a gross abuse of office and vandetta.”

After listening to Mr. Maduabuchi, Justice Asua granted the motion as prayed stating that “the applicant has shown sufficient interest in the matter to warrant a grant of the leave sought.”

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