Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom has said he does plan to protect any of his appointees accused of corruption from investigation and prosecution.
Governor Ortom revealed that he has never been one to prevent justice from prevailing.
He added that his utmost respect for the rule of law will always guide his principle as governor of the state.
This was his reaction to the arraignment of his Principal Private Secretary, Mr. Steven Amase and a former Commissioner for Works in the state, Mr. Emmanuel Manger, by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) for allegedly manipulating the award of a N4.8billion road project in the state.
His words, “The allegation is a mere accusation and the onus lies on the accuser to prove the same beyond all reasonable doubts. And for emphasis, none of my appointees has been convicted since the inception of my administration.
“It is also normal in law that if any anti-graft agency accuses anyone of a corrupt act, it is left to that person to avail himself and defend the allegations because a person is presumed innocent until found guilty and convicted by the courts.”
We wait to see how this will pan out.
Samuel Ioraer Ortom is a Nigerian philanthropist, businessman, politician and administrator. He was a Minister of State Trade and Investments in Nigeria during the presidency of Goodluck Jonathan. Ortom was elected governor of Benue State as a member of the All Progressives Congress in 2015. He was re-elected as governors on 29 May 2019.
He was born 23 April 1961 in Guma Local Government Area of Benue State, Nigeria. He attended St. John’s Primary School, Gboko in 1970 but moved to St. Catherine’s Primary School, Makurdi in 1974, completing his primary education in 1976. Chief Dr. Samuel Ioraer Ortom was admitted into Idah Secondary Commercial College, Idah in Kogi State in 1976. He did two years in the school before his father’s retirement in 1979 ended his dream of completing formal secondary school education for financial reasons. He became a professional driver.