• News - North Central - Benue
  • Updated: May 29, 2024

Ortom: Court stops Governor Alia from probing predecessor

Ortom: Court stops Governor Alia from probing predecessor

Samuel Ortom

A Benue State High Court has issued an order restraining the Benue State Government from investigating the administration of former Governor Samuel Ortom.

The decision came in response to a recent commission of inquiry established by the state government to examine the funds (income and expenditure) from May 29, 2015, to May 28, 2023, during Ortom's tenure.

Justice T. T. Asua granted the restraining order pending the hearing and determination of a motion on notice filed by former Governor Ortom. The order effectively halts the commission from proceeding with its inquiry.

Ortom's counsel, Oba Maduabuchi, SAN, argued that the state’s Auditor General has the constitutional authority to investigate and audit the state's finances.

He stated that the Auditor General had already completed an audit of the state's accounts, submitted the findings to the Benue State House of Assembly, and that the Assembly had acted on these reports as required by the 1999 Constitution (as amended).

Maduabuchi contended that the Auditor General's reports were published in various state gazettes, making them public documents.

He asserted that the Governor of Benue State lacks the authority to form a new commission to re-investigate the already audited accounts, calling the governor's action an abuse of power and an act of vendetta.

After reviewing the motion, Justice Asua found that the applicant, former Governor Ortom, had demonstrated sufficient interest in the matter to justify the granting of the leave sought.

The court ordered that the motion on notice be scheduled for hearing within 14 days, and further restrained the commission of inquiry from taking any actions related to the matter until the motion is heard and determined.

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