The former governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom, has come forward to clarify reports claiming he was arrested by operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC. The reports, which surfaced on social media on Monday, claimed that the former governor was taken into custody in Makurdi. In a statement released by his media aide, Terver Akase, Mr. Ortom dismissed the reports, saying they were false and malicious. The statement added that the former governor had not received any invitation or any other form of communication from the EFCC regarding any allegations of financial impropriety.
The statement from Mr. Ortom’s media aide reads in part: “We wish to state categorically that such claims are not only false but also malicious. The former governor of Benue State has not been invited by the EFCC or any other law enforcement agency about any allegations of financial mismanagement.” The statement went on to assert that the former governor had nothing to hide and was willing to work with any institution or individual that wants to shed light on his time in office.
Mr. Ortom served as governor of Benue State between 2015 and 2019, when he was succeeded by the current governor, Samuel Ortom. During his time in office, he was known for his efforts to improve infrastructural development and fast-track the agricultural revolution in the state. The former governor’s media aide advised members of the public to disregard the false reports and cautioned against spreading rumors and unsubstantiated claims.
Reports of arrests and corruption allegations are not uncommon in Nigeria, particularly among high-ranking officials and public figures. The EFCC, which is responsible for investigating and prosecuting financial crimes, has been at the forefront of the government’s efforts to tackle corruption in Nigeria. However, critics have accused the agency of targeting political opponents and carrying out politically-motivated arrests. The agency has denied these claims, insisting that its activities are guided by its mandate to rid Nigeria of economic and financial crimes.
Lastly, the allegations of Samuel Ortom’s arrest by the EFCC are false. While the former governor has faced several allegations of corruption in the past, it is essential to remember that these are mere allegations until they are proven in a court of law. It is incumbent upon all Nigerians to practice responsible consumption and sharing of information, particularly when it concerns public figures. By doing so, we can help combat the spread of fake news and misinformation and ensure that our society remains informed and responsible.