BREAKING: Court stops Benue govt from probing Ortom

By Innocent Raphael

A Benue State High Court has issued an order restraining the State Government from proceeding with an inquiry into the administration of former Governor Samuel Ortom.

This ruling comes in response to the state’s recent efforts to scrutinize the financial activities during Ortom’s tenure from May 29, 2015, to May 28, 2023.

The court order, delivered by Justice T. T. Asua, halts the activities of the commission of inquiry pending the hearing and determination of a motion on notice filed by Ortom.

The former governor’s legal team, led by Senior Advocate of Nigeria Oba Maduabuchi, argued that the state’s Auditor General already has the constitutional authority to probe the state’s finances.

They emphasized that the Auditor General had completed a thorough audit and submitted reports to the Benue State House of Assembly.

According to Maduabuchi, these reports have been acted upon by the Assembly, making the new commission of inquiry redundant and beyond the governor’s jurisdiction.

He described the commission as an abuse of office and a potential act of vendetta.

The court order specifies that the commission must cease all actions related to the inquiry until the motion on notice is heard, which is expected within 14 days.

The legal debate centers on whether the governor overstepped his authority by initiating an additional probe after the Auditor General’s reports had already been reviewed and published in state gazettes.

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