News

February 28, 2024

Alia sets up 2 panels to probe Ortom’s govt

COVID-19 resurgence in Benue: Report misrepresents WHO's statement — NCDC

Governor Hyacinth Alia of Benue

…Ex-Gov welcomes probe, promises to cooperate

By Peter Duru

Governor Hyacinth Alia of Benue state has inaugurated two separate panels to probe the management of the state’s finances and assets under the immediate past administration of Samuel Ortom.

Both panels are the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into the Income and Expenditure of Benue State Government from May 29, 2015, to May 28, 2023, and the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into the Sale/Lease of Government Assets, Companies and Markets (both state and local government owned markets), as well as moribund companies from or before May 28, 2015 to May 28th, 2023.

Justice Taiwo Taiwo (retd.) is heading the panel on Income and Expenditure while Justice Apollos Idi (retd.) heads the panel on Sale/lease of Government Assets, Companies and Markets.

Addressing the members shortly after inaugurating them Monday night in Makurdi, Governor Alia said the move was part of the collective agenda of his administration to promote accountability, transparency, and good governance in the state.

The Governor who vouched for the integrity and track record of members of the panels and their ability to deliver on the assignments informed that “these commissions are not merely bureaucratic endeavors; they are our response to the earnest desires and hopes of the good people of Benue, who are rightfully critical stakeholders and owners of our dear state and its resources.

“The future prosperity of Benue hinges on the prudent and judicious management of our resources. As we usher in a new era characterized by prioritizing the welfare of our people, it is imperative and quite incumbent upon us to ensure that every Naira expended serves the collective interest and propels the growth and development of our state.

“The responsible stewardship of government resources bears a direct correlation to the well-being of our people. Adequate allocation to vital sectors such as the economy, agriculture, education, security, healthcare, and infrastructure uplifts the standard of living, while any mismanagement jeopardizes our collective progress.

“In our pursuit of good governance, we prioritize inclusivity and fairness, ensuring that the needs of all stakeholders are duly considered. Responsible management and ethical utilization of resources are non-negotiable tenets of this governance philosophy.

“Thus, it is incumbent upon us to scrutinize the management of our common resources during the specified periods. This inquiry is not rooted in distrust but in our commitment to the principles of accountability, transparency, and good governance, and it is imperative for safeguarding the interests of the people of Benue.

“I urge the members of these commissions to recognize the gravity of their mandate. Your diligence and dedication will be pivotal in unraveling the complexities of the task at hand, and the goodwill of the Benue people shall serve as your guiding light.”

Ortom welcomes probe; reacts

Former Governor of Benue State, Chief Samuel Ortom has welcomed the probe of his administration and expressed his willingness to corporate with the panels set up by the Governor Hyacinth Alia-led administration for that purpose.

Recall that Governor Alia Monday night inaugurated two probe panels, the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into the Income and Expenditure of Benue State Government from May 29, 2015, to May 28, 2023 and the Judicial Commission of inquiry into the sale/lease of government assets, companies and markets (both State and Local Government owned markets), as well as moribund companies from or before May 28, 2015 to May 28th, 2023, to investigate the last administration in the state.

Justice Taiwo Taiwo (retd.) heads the panel on Income and Expenditure while Justice Apollos Idi (retd.) Chairs the panel on Sale/lease of Government Assets, Companies and Markets.

Reacting to the setting up of the panels, Chief Ortom in a statement by his Media Aide, Terver Akase welcomed the coming of the panels and expressed his willingness to cooperate with the probe panels “as long as the investigation is carried out in line with the law.”

He stressed that his administration was “built on transparency, accountability, and good governance, and emphasizes his readiness to provide any information or clarification, as may be required.

“Chief Ortom urges his former appointees to equally make themselves available whenever called upon to provide clarifications.”