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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Benue State governor launches probes into Ortom’s financial management

Inquiry Panels Formed to Investigate Expenditure and Asset Transactions During Samuel Ortom's Administration

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The Governor of Benue State, Rev. Fr. Hyacinth Alia, took a decisive step on Tuesday by inaugurating two commissions of inquiry aimed at scrutinizing the financial dealings of his predecessor, Samuel Ortom, during his eight-year tenure.

In response, Ortom, through his media aide, Terver Akase, affirmed his readiness to cooperate with the investigations, urging his former appointees to do the same.

The judicial commissions, inaugurated at the Old Banquet Hall of the Government House in Makurdi, signify the current administration’s commitment to accountability, transparency, and good governance.

The first panel, titled the “Judicial Commission of Inquiry into the Income and Expenditure of Benue State Government,” will assess financial transactions from May 29, 2015, to May 28, 2023. The second, named the “Judicial Commission of Inquiry into the Sale/Lease of Government Assets,” will focus on transactions involving state-owned properties and companies during the same period.

Both panels, chaired by retired justices from outside Benue State, have been tasked with completing their investigations within six months and submitting comprehensive reports.

Governor Alia emphasized the importance of responsible stewardship of government resources and stressed the necessity of scrutinizing financial management to ensure collective progress and development.

The inquiry aims to identify income sources, expenditure patterns, and the utilization of funds, including special interventions like bailout funds and Paris Club refunds. Additionally, it seeks to uncover cases of misappropriation, identify individuals involved in contracts, and address issues such as ghost workers.

Regarding asset transactions, the inquiry will review all sales and leases to advise the government on appropriate actions in the interest of the people and good governance.

Ortom, while expressing his commitment to transparency and good governance, affirmed his readiness to provide necessary information for the investigation, urging his former appointees to do the same.

The probes signify a crucial step towards ensuring accountability and transparency in Benue State’s governance, reflecting the government’s dedication to upholding the rule of law and safeguarding the interests of its citizens.

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