Benue Assets Recovery Committee confiscates ex Governor Ortom's vehicles - NEWS FRONTIER DAILY


Tuesday, July 11, 2023

Benue Assets Recovery Committee confiscates ex Governor Ortom's vehicles


The Hingah Biem led Benue State Assets Recovery Committee recently set up by Governor Hyacinth Alia, has allegedly raided a private automobile workshop in Makurdi, carting away vehicles  of individuals and those of the former Governor Sameul Ortom parked at the premises. 

The action of the committee was in defiance of an ealier injunction of a Makurdi High Court which restrained the committee from proceeding with its action against the ex Governor and his Deputy. 

Speaking on the raid, the Chairman of the committee, Mr. Hinga Biam said: "The operation is still ongoing as you speak to me and I can't say how many vehicles have been recovered so far. If you don't have keys to the car what options do you have? You can only tow it. 

"Once you don't have the keys, you suspected that it is cars that belong to government, you have to move it somehow. The person in charge did not provide the keys, it was someone who said he was the mechanic that was there." 

Reacting to the development, former Governor Ortom in a statement by his media aide, Terver Akase expressed shock at the action of the committee saying it smacked of total lawlessness given a subsisting court order on the matter. 

The statement read in part, "the attention of the immediate past Governor of Benue State, Chief Samuel Ortom has been drawn to an incident at a commercial workshop operated by London Lines Transport Ltd along Otukpo road in Makurdi where his vehicles among vehicles owned by other people undergoing repairs were towed away after members of the Assets Recovery Committee, acting on the directives of Governor Hyacinth Alia had forced their way into the workshop. 

"We are shocked beyond belief at the development which smacks of lawlessness. The media show that followed the incident indicated that the present administration in the state is out to torment, persecute and humiliate the former Governor using every unconventional means. 

"As we previously stated, the Benue State Executive Council during the last administration, gave approval that Governor Ortom, his Deputy and appointees of that administration should leave with their official vehicles. The invasion of a workshop today by members of the Assets Recovery Committee who were accompanied by security operatives from Government House to tow away vehicles, many of which do not belong to the former Governor, was the height of illegality. 

"When the present Governor set up the Assets Recovery Committee and they made Chief Ortom a target, he approached the court and the matter is still in court. 

"His Excellency Ortom is not the first former Governor to vacate office with the official vehicles allocated to him. His predecessors, former judicial officers, legislators such as the Chief of Staff to the present Governor, Paul Biam, the Assets Recovery Committee Chairman, Hinga Biem and other members of the committee who served in government at different times all left with the official vehicles given to them. 

"Chief Ortom is a law abiding man who served the state as Governor and has not committed any offense deserving the persecution that the present administration has subjected him to. He will continue to respect the rule of law even in the face of the latest provocation."

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