Benue Gov Sets Up Judiciary Commissions To Probe Ortom

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By; ARCHIBONG ESUENE, Makurdi

Benue State Governor, Rev Fr. Hyacinth Alia, has inaugurated two Judicial Commissions of Inquiries, to probe the administration of state’s resources and assets during the tenure of his predecessor, Dr Samuel Ortom.

The two commissions of inquiries inaugurated by the governor, include Judicial Commission of Inquiry into the Income and Expenditure of Benue State Government (from May 29, 2015, to May 28, 2023).

Also inaugurated, was 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).

Speaking during the inauguration in Makurdi, Governor Alia said the two commissions of inquiries were set up in response to the desire of the people of the state, who are the major stakeholders and owners of the resources.

“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 governor explained.

He noted that the future of Benue as a State depends largely on the prudent management of its resources, pointing out that his administration will ensure that all monies expended, serve the collective purpose of vast majority.

“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,”

While expressing his belief in the integrity and track record of the members of the commission to discharge their duties with utmost dedication and in accordance with the noble principles of public service, the governor urged them to work according to his administration’s commitment to the principles of accountability, transparency.

He reiterated his government’s unwavering commitment to effective resources management, citing the timely payment of salaries, pensions and gratuities, to the execution of critical infrastructure projects, as contained in his administration’s blueprint, “A Strategic Development Plan for a Greater Benue.”

Responding, Chairman of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into the Income and Expenditure of the Benue State Government 2015-2023, Justice Taiwo Taiwo (rtd), and Chairman of the Sale/Lease of Government Assets, Companies and Markets, Justice Apollos Idi (rtd), appreciated the Governor for finding them worthy to serve and expressed their readiness to work in line with the terms of reference given them.

They equally promised to do their best to come up with recommendations that will help the government to move the state forward.

The Commission of Inquiry on the Income and Expenditure of Government Funds from May 2015- May 2023, has Hon. Justice Taiwo Taiwo (Rtd) as the Chairman, with Chief John Ochoga, Henry Tor, Tom Ujah, Ode Igbade Nick, Iorpenda Tarnguhar and Terfa Gbande, as members while Barr. Ajinge Sar, Dr. Abraham Gberindyer serve as Government Counsel and Secretary, respectively.

The Commission of Inquiry on the Sale of Assets, Companies and Markets from (2015-2023), has Hon. Justice Apollos Paul Idi rtd) as the Chairman, with Clement Nenge Beetse, John Ogah, Dr. Terungwa Adzende and Hon. Abraham Atotse as members while Victor Nyamtamen (Esq.) and John Edigbo serve as Government Council and Secretary, respectively.

The Commissions have been separately tasked to amongst other things, look into how the bailout and Paris Club refunds were expended, look into the loans procured by the state during the period in question and report on how such loans were used, as well as identify the companies owned by the state government (both active and inactive) and proffer solutions on how the inactive ones can be revived, amongst others.

They have been given six months to complete their assignment and submit their report to the government.

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