Gov. Samuel Ortom: Onnoghens trial is impunity at highest level
Posted: 15/Jan/2019

Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, on Monday condemned the planned  arraignment of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen, describing it as the highest level of impunity. He also declared a statement by the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the President, Garba Shehu, as a confirmation that a cabal was running the Presidency.

Shehu had in a statement issued on Sunday criticized Ortom, saying he was visiting churches to spread hatred against the President. The statement reads, “Governor Ortom’s campaign is clearly designed to stir division and hatred and to divert the people’s attention from his inability to pay staff salaries and pensions for several months.

“It has been noted that the governor has been visiting churches in the state where he falsely tells congregations about President Buhari’s so-called plans to Islamise Benue State.

“The allegations coming from Ortom were particularly unfair, especially when one considers how much support the governor received from the Federal Government, which supported his grazing laws as a means to end the farmer-herder crisis that has plagued the state.”

But the governor who described the statement as ‘unfortunate’ warned Garba not to create hatred between the President and him.

He said neither the Presidency nor Garba would dictate to him where he should campaign.

Ortom spoke during an interview with journalists at Tse Agbaragba, headquarters of the Konshisha Local Government Area of the state while on a campaign tour.

The governor said, “I read the statement, it was an unfortunate statement, I’m sure it’s not coming from Mr President but it is coming from the Presidency. I’m sure that statement from Garba Shehu is coming from the cabal that the wife of the President is complaining about. It cannot be from the President. In my campaigns, I have never insulted President Buhari, I have never made any hate speech against him at any given time. If I talk of Miyetti Allah claiming responsibility for the killings in Benue State, it came from them and it was before the media and everybody knew about it.

He added, “Garba Shehu cannot tell me where I’ll go and do my campaigns. If I’m in churches, I will also go to the mosque and I respect the Muslims for who they are and I respect the churches, that is the background I come from, I am a Christian.”

He urged Nigerians not allow “the cabal in the Villa to ruin this country.”

On the arraignment Walter Onnoghen, he said it was the height of impunity.

He said, “Look at what is happening, look at the issue of arraigning the CJN; this is impunity at its highest level. I always say we must respect the rule of law, which is the only way we can preserve ourselves and even the positions we hold. Anything outside that will result in impunity and when there is impunity, you are inviting anarchy and when there is anarchy you don’t know where it will lead us to. Look, nobody should be above the law, we should respect the law, the Presidency should respect the law, I should respect the law, everybody should respect the law, that is the only way we can preserve this country because Nigeria belongs to all of us.”

He added, “All of us are stakeholders and we cannot fold our hands and see things being destroyed by individuals.”
John Charles, PUNCH.