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Investigate Buhari’s Administration Before Pursuing Former Governor Ortom – Benue Group, BCD, Warns EFCC

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ABUJA, Nigeria — The Benue Coalition for Democracy, BCD, has thrown down the gauntlet to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, urging them to focus their scrutiny on the previous government of former President Muhammadu Buhari over alleged widespread corruption, instead of hounding the former governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom.

In a statement issued by the President of the Coalition dated Tuesday, May 30, 2023, Comrade Ternenge Bendega, the BCD took issue with the EFCC’s recent focus on Ortom.

“The media were awash with reports that the EFCC was laying ambush to apprehend the immediate past Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, on alleged corruption charges,” the statement read. “Yet the reports did not clarify Chief Ortom’s offense.”

Bendega’s statement further urged the EFCC to uphold their constitutional role and desist from “fighting selective battles and the wrong enemies.” It was asserted that the administration of Muhammadu Buhari was the “most corrupt” in Nigeria’s post-independence history, with trillions of naira allegedly stolen under his watch.

The BCD president pointed out that the EFCC had shown a preference for targeting individuals like Ortom who had “volunteered to fight for justice”.

Bendega stated that Ortom had courageously challenged what he saw as a Fulani occupation agenda, refusing to yield ground to powerful interests.

The statement further accused former President Buhari of holding a personal grudge against Ortom, leading to the EFCC’s persecution of the ex-governor following his switch from the All Progressives Congress (APC) to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in August 2018.

Moreover, the BCD statement claimed Senator George Akume, the leader of the APC in Benue State, had played a key role in efforts to undermine Ortom and his predecessor, Gabriel Suswam.

It declared, “We are aware of the several petitions he sponsored against former Governor Suswam and the ones he has sponsored against Suswam’s successor Samuel Ortom.”

As the EFCC continues its pursuit of Ortom, the BCD urged the commission to direct its focus towards the alleged corruption within the previous Buhari administration. The coming weeks will reveal whether the EFCC will heed this call for a broader investigation.

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