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Benue govt raids Ortom’s automobile shop, seizes vehicles

The Asset Recovery Committee set up by Governor Hyacinth Alia of Benue State, on Tuesday, raided an automobile shop owned by ex-Governor Samuel Ortom in Makurdi, the state capital, reports the Daily Trust.


Some vehicles were seized during the operation. The committee reportedly used towing vans to pull out some vehicles after attempts to drive them away failed.


In its reaction, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Benue accused Alia of witch hunting his predecessor.


PDP State Publicity Secretary, Bemgba Iortyom, described the committee’s outing as “a shameful showing of naked tyranny and impunity.”


He said: “Earlier today, thugs accompanied by security agents purporting to be on an assets recovery mission, raided a private automobile workshop owned by the former governor’s business concern, Oracle Nig. Ltd., carting away motor vehicles at the premises of the workshop.


“Staff of the workshop have confirmed to PDP that the vehicles, of a yet to be ascertained number, were those brought there for repairs by private owners and are not in any wise from any public source.


“PDP notes that this is yet another manifestation of disregard for the rule of law by the Benue State Governor, considering there is a subsisting court order barring his government from tampering with the assets of the former governor, specifically motor vehicles.”


The governor had through his Chief Press Secretary, Tersoo Kula, said government vehicles numbering 29 were looted by the former governor.


Kula had in a statement posited that, “the case of the government house is particularly pitiable with vandalised furniture, window blinds, electronics and other household appliances.


“This is besides the carting away of all vehicles including an ambulance and press crew bus attached to the office of the governor. At the last count, 29 vehicles attached to the governor’s office are still nowhere to be found.”


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