Alia covering his early missteps with media trial against Ortom- Akase

Nigerian Concord Newspaper

The governor of Benue state, Father Hyacinth Alia has been accused of using media trial against his predecessor, Chief Samuel Ortom PhD, to cover up for his early missteps.

This was contained in a press statement signed by Mr. Terver Akase, the media aide to the immediate past governor of the state.

The statement reads:

Since Governor Hyacinth Alia of Benue State assumed office, he has subjected his predecessor, His Excellency Samuel Ortom to all forms of persecution. If he is not accusing the former Governor of looting the state’s treasury and assets, he is blaming him for providing employment to Benue youths.

Since May 29, 2023, Governor Alia and his team have been intent on tarnishing Ortom’s hard-earned reputation by putting him on trial in the media. Their latest move was the inauguration of the “Assets Recovery Committee”, where they once again accused the former Governor of looting government assets in collusion with members of his former cabinet.

Governor Alia has become a judge in his own case. He has convicted the immediate past Governor even before the committee on assets recovery would commence its assignment, thereby violating the principle of audi alterem partem which upholds fair hearing.

Despite the motive behind the probe, it is important to note that due process was followed by the Ortom administration in all its actions, including the allocation of vehicles to outgoing government officials and the auction of some public property.

As previously mentioned, the Benue State Executive Council made the decision to grant waivers to government officials, including the Governor and his Deputy, to allow them to retain their official vehicles. The Council also approved the auction of certain assets that were no longer of value to the government.

Our advice to Governor Alia remains the same: focus on governance and deliver on the numerous promises he made to the people during the campaigns. Blaming Chief Ortom for the government’s lack of progress in addressing development issues does not lend credibility to the current administration.

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