“I did nothing wrong leaving with official vehicles” – Samuel Ortom

The immediate past Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom, has said he did nothing wrong leaving the State Government House with official vehicles.

Ortom stated this in a statement on Friday released by his spokesman, Terver Akase, while reacting to the accusation by his predecessor, Hyacinth Alia, that he did not meet a single official car in the government house.

According to Akase, it was the decision of the State Executive Council to allow Ortom, his deputy, and other officials to go with the vehicles allocated to them.

He said his principal did nothing unlawful by leaving office with the official vehicles allocated to him, stressing that is a tradition that an outgoing governor leaves with vehicles given to him.

Akase said: “In his latest outing, the governor has accused his predecessor of carrying out recruitment into the civil service without due process; handing to him an empty treasury and looting government vehicles, among several other unfounded accusations.

The present administration may wish to be informed that it was the decision of the Benue state executive council that government officials, including the governor and his deputy, be given waivers to enable them to go with the official vehicles allocated to them. Governor Ortom, therefore, did nothing unlawful by leaving office with the official vehicles allocated to him.

“It is a tradition that an outgoing governor leaves with vehicles given to him. Perhaps we should add that the Ortom administration offered to buy vehicles for the incoming government but the present governor declined, saying that he would prefer to buy vehicles for his administration after the inauguration.”

On the issue of sacked appointees and workers, Akase said Ortom’s administration followed due process in recruiting the workers, adding that the past administration made efforts to reduce the indebtedness of the state.

He said Ortom is available to respond to the Benue governor any time he needs clarification on issues regarding the previous administration.

He added: “While we won’t go into a war of words with the governor despite the media trial, it is pertinent to clarify that the Ortom administration followed due process in recruiting the workers whom the present government sacked a few days ago,” he said.

“Vacancies were duly advertised in national newspapers and those who applied for the jobs were properly interviewed/screened and the successful ones were given appointment letters as required by civil service rules. Promotions were also carried out according to the laid down service regulations.

“We expected the Alia administration to specifically point out the areas where it claimed that due process was not followed in the recruitments, instead of making sweeping statements and spurious generalizations.”

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