Social critic and Commissioner, Public Complaints Commission, Alhaji Abubakar Tsav, has accused the governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom of fraud amounting to 1.8 billion during the tenure of former governor of the state, Senator George Akume.
Tsav, a retired Commissioner of Police, who availed newsmen about the scam in a signed press release made available to Nigerian Pilot yesterday in Makurdi, the state capital, gave the breakdown of the contract as follows: Daudu-Gbajimba and University of Agric-Gbajimba roads which were awarded at the cost of N486,465,305.00 and N267,079,540.00 respectively. He gave the contract No. as BNTB-26/2004.
Other roads for which he claimed Ortom defrauded the state include; Aliade-Mbakune-Obarike- N343,387,980.00, Sankera-Ayati-Sai-N267,079,540.00, Adikpo-Ajio-Tsekwange-N219,463,875.00, Abuku-Otese-Uga, N238,463,875.00, Tordonga-Kasaa-Tyodugh, which span from Tsewanze-Tyodugh-Shila-N37,200,645.00.
The above contracts, Tsav said, were awarded to M/S Value Trust Investment and were not executed even after payments were fully made.
He described the N500 million the governor set aside from the N10 billion loan he procured to pay salary arrears to work on the Daudu-Gbajimba road as mere deceit and an attempt to cover up his tracks.
“That job has been paid for even though it was not executed and the said contractors are not on site as claimed by Governor Ortom. So, who is he paying the N500 million to, if not to himself. Is this not worth probing? The people of Benue State should ask questions,” Tsav urged.
Tsav also accused Gov Ortom of using one Thomas Adejo to defraud the 23 local government councils in the state of various sums of money with which he later used to set up Oracle Printing Press.
But in a swift reaction, senior special assistant to Gov Ortom on Media and ICT, Terver Akase said there was no grain of truth in the allegations made by Tsav.
“Let elder Tsav prove his accusations. Gov Ortom was not a governor at the time in the reference of Tsav, so how could he have diverted money meant for projects?” Akase wondered.
Similarly, the governor’s special adviser, Tahav Agerzua who described Tsav’s allegations as tissues of lies on Facebook had warned this correspondent not to call him to respond to any matter concerning Tsav.
Agerzua, who made the call at 09.03pm last Sunday night said he prefers to make rejoinder to issues on Tsav or at worst seek redress in court, threatening, “I know what to do, it’s not as if I don’t know what to do. I can even take you to court.”
However, the former Lagos State Commissioner of Police noted that if justice must be done in the state, the only option the governor has is to extend the ongoing probe of his predecessor, Gabriel Suswam to the tenure of Sen George Akume if he is truly a God fearing person and an impartial administrator.
“If justice must be done and seen to be done, let him extend his probe to Akume’s era, if Gov Ortom is truly a born again Christian and one who believes in God and the day of judgment. What is good for the goose should also be good for the gander,” Tsav said.
According to him, if Senate President, Bukola Saraki is being prosecuted for offenses he allegedly committed in 2003 when he was governor of Kwara State, there was no reason why Sen Akume would not be probed for offenses he allegedly committed when he was governor of Benue state.
He also urged Ortom to probe the destruction of human lives during Akume’s regime where he said several young men, some of whom he said were graduates, were atrociously murdered and their bodies thrown into River Benue.
“Are these atrocities and human rights abuse not worth Governor Ortom’s probe? Does Governor Ortom feign ignorance of these callous and most atrocious murders, including human rights abuses?
“I reported these serial murders to the National Human Rights Commission, NHRC and attached photographs of the murdered youths, but the Nigerian factor came to play and nothing was done about it. Is this the type of justice we yearn for?”
He said human life is sacred and whoever destroys human life without reasonable cause or excuse, shall face God’s wrath as well as laws of the land.

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