By Sunday Ogli, Makurdi
Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue state has disowned claims by his former Chief of Staff, Hon. Terwase Orbunde that he invested the sum of N160 million in 2015 into his campaign to become the governor.
The governor had in a letter dated April 23, 2022, which was sighted by Nigerian Pilot, in response to the appeal for reimbursement by Hon. Orbunde, stated that he could not recall when they discussed and he (Orbunde) made available or invested the sum of N160 million to his campaign or election in 2015.
The governor’s four-paragraph letter reads in part; “The fact that we worked together in 2014 to realize my Governorship ambition cannot be over-emphasised. However, as the Chief Visioner, I was always aware and in control of the interventions from friends and associates aimed at prosecuting my elections and such were always acknowledged. I really cannot recall when we discussed and you made available or invested the sum of One Hundred and Sixty Million Naira (N160,000,000:00) in my campaign or election in 2015 or at any other time at all.
“As my political ally, if this request is coming from you for assistance, it would be understood and I can always assist as usual to the best of my ability. I am rather surprised that this appeal for reimbursement is coming after seven years of my becoming governor of Benue state and therefore, I consider the same as made in bad faith to say the least.”
Hon. Orbunde who was twice appointed Chief of Staff to Governor Ortom had in a letter of appeal for reimbursement dated April 16, 2022, called his attention that he sold his property located in Wuye area of Abuja in 2014, which he said was invested in the 2015.
Hon. Orbunde said that he was requesting for the reimbursement to find an alternative accommodation for his family as he was meant to vacate his official residence.