Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State and his predecessor, Dr. Gabriel Suswam have resumed their war of words.
Ortom is claiming his government had evidence that Suswam squandered the $24 million (about N10 billion) the Federal Government refunded to the state as part of the Paris Club debt write-off.
The governor was responding to a recent claim by Suswam during a thanksgiving service that he did what was in the overall interest of the people of the state during his tenure and did not misuse a dime.
Irked by Suswam’s statement, Ortom claimed he had evidence that Suswam took the huge sum and did not make good use of it.
The governor promised to set up a panel to probe the whereabouts of the cash.
In a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Terver Akase, the governor said, “Our response to former Governor Gabriel Suswam’s statement being circulated that his administration did not receive $24 million Paris and London Clubs refund is simple.
“As Governor Samuel Ortom has already said, a probe will be launched into the matter and findings made public in accordance with the transparency policy of the administration.
“If the past administration had administered the finances of the state prudently, there would have been no need to secure a loan to offset salary arrears as a judicial commission of inquiry established the looting of over N107 billion by 52 key players of the previous administration.
“Moreover, since the records of the transactions regarding the $24 million which the former governor received on behalf of the state are still available, we have incontrovertible proof.”
Recently, the Executive Governor of Rivers State, Barr. Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has taken Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom to the cleaners for daring to campaign against his government in Rivers State.