‘Do Not Despair’, Jime Tells Supporters After Supreme Court Verdict

APC’s Jime Rejects Benue Governorship Election Result, Heads To Court
A file photo of APC governorship candidate in Benue State, Mr Emmanuel Jime.

 

 

The governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Benue State, Mr Emmanuel Jime, has called for calm following the judgement of the Supreme Court.

He made the call on Tuesday after the apex court affirmed the re-election of Governor Samuel Ortom in the March 9 poll.

In a statement personally signed by him, he thanked the members of his party and his supporters for standing by him throughout the court processes.

“Do not despair over news of today’s verdict. Taunts, jeers and intimidation will come, but let’s not buckle under them and see those as part of the sacrifice we need to make for a better tomorrow,” the APC candidate said.

He added, “The verdict announced by the Supreme Court today signals an end to our inquest on the 2019 governorship elections in Benue.

“It does not mean we will take our eyes off governance issues as they affect people of Benue.”

Jime noted that sad as the judgment was to him, he and his supporters have accepted the verdict in good faith.

He, however, stressed that it was not out of a need to pursue power or take advantage of the judicial process when they filed a petition at the Election Petitions Tribunal in 2019.

The APC candidate explained that they took the route all the way to the Supreme Court as part of their commitment towards strengthening the integrity of the nation’s electoral process.

“It was and remains our firm belief that unless the sanctity of the ballot is guaranteed, self-serving politicians will continue to game the system to retain their clutch on power.

“Let me use this opportunity to thank our legal team. They put up a dogged fight and presented a good case with solid evidence,” he said.

Jime added, “The outcome might not have gone our way, but it shows we will never look the other way where we see cases of electoral malpractice. I remain eternally grateful for the efforts of our lawyers and witnesses.

“I also extend my appreciation to the Justices of the Supreme Court, who in spite of a back-breaking workload, gave our petition the thorough attention it deserved. The outcome notwithstanding, we remain highly respectful of their verdict.”

Police Assault Channels TV Cameraman, Another In Benue

Police Engage Suspected Kidnappers On Kaduna-Abuja Highway, Kill Nine
A file photo of police officers on patrol.

 

 

A team of policemen have assaulted a cameraman with Channels Television, Mr Michael Umele, with multiple slaps in Benue State.

The security operatives attached to B Police Division also seized Umele’s camera and that of his colleague from another television station, for allegedly covering an unlawful gathering of the Tiv Youth Organisation in Makurdi, the state capital.

Upon arriving at the venue of the briefing, the team led by the Divisional Police Officer (DPO), Awe Kayode, asked the Channels TV staff to surrender his camera.

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In the process of explaining to the DPO that he is a journalist, one of the policemen started slapping Umele and forcefully seized his camera and that of his colleague.

When contacted, the Commissioner of Police in Benue, Mr Mohammed Mukadas, explained that the Tiv Youth Organisation had no approval to convene any form of gathering.

According to him, the group planned to stage a protest against the Minister of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs, Mr George Akume, for allegedly denigrating the name and stool of the Tor Tiv, Professor James Ayatse.

The police commissioner, however, ordered the immediate release of the seized cameras, with a directive to the DPO to fish out the officer who assaulted Umele and offer his apology to settle the matter amicably.

Following the directive, the policemen released the cameras to the rightful owners.

Police Arrest Two Armed Herders, 25 Others In Benue

Gunmen Shoot Returning Officer While Conveying Result In Benue

 

The Police in Benue state have arrested two armed herdsmen, Usman Saleh, and Ibrahim Alhaji, both resident in Awe local government area of Nassarawa state, during a stop and search operation, where they attempted to escape after operatives discovered rounds of live ammunition AK rifles in their possession.

Parading the suspects along with 25 others arrested in connection with kidnapping and robbery by men of the operation Zenda, the commissioner of police, Mr. Mohammed Mukadass, listed exhibits, weapons, ammunition and other items recovered from the suspects.

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The police commissioner appealed to members of the public to continue volunteering information to help secure the state,

15 Motorcycles, Two Vehicles Burnt As Fire Razes Part Of David Mark’s Residence

Attempt To Impeach Ortom Is Unconstitutional, Says David Mark
Former Senate President, Senator David Mark (file)

 

A fire incident was reported at the Otukpo residence of former Senate President, Senator David Mark in Benue state.

The fire incident which was confirmed by Dr. Adakole Elijah on behalf of Senator Mark burnt some properties including 15 motorcycles and two vehicles.

He added that the arrival of the Fire Service personnel prevented the inferno from spreading to the entire building, adding that the cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained.

Herdsmen/Farmers Conflict: DHQ To Withdraw Troops From Benue, Taraba And Nasarawa

Troops of the Operation Whirl Stroke in Benue, Nasarawa and Taraba State.

 

The Defence Headquarters on Saturday says it will withdraw troops of the Operation Whirl Stroke from Benue, Taraba and Nasarawa States.

Speaking to journalists on Saturday in Benue State, the Defence Spokesman, Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu, said the operation which began in June 2018 to combat herdsmen attacks, communal crisis and militia groups has largely restored peace in the affected areas.

“We have a mandate; we have a mission. And the mission fundamentally is to maintain peace, safety and security in Benue, Taraba and Nasarawa States. And to a very large extent, that mission has been achieved.

“We just travelled all the way to Gbishe now and all I see on the road was tranquility, people going about their normal businesses. We have been to countries like Liberia where we had operations where there was civil war, when we met the mandate we began to draw down and that is exactly what is going to happen here,” he said.

He however reacted to concerns raised by Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State that the withdrawal of troops could spark renewed attacks in the affected states.

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According to Nwachukwu, the withdrawal wouldn’t be a complete one but would be done gradually in phases.

“I saw comments made by His Excellency, the Governor of Benue State (Samuel Ortom). It is not an outright shutdown of the operation. It is not as if we are going to close the operation, pack our bags and vacate the operational area, that is not what is happening.

“There is going to be a draw down and that draw down is not immediate. It is going to be phased. So, it’s not like pack your things and get out of the place.

“Again, we have made provisions that as the troops draw down, as we wind down the operation, we have some benchmark that have been put in place to ensure that there is no resurgence of these criminalities,” he stated.

The brigadier general also revealed that the military authorities have developed kinetic operation that hev involved traditional and political leaders aimed at maintaining peace in the region.

Gunmen Kill Two Members Of Nigerian Legion In Benue

Gunmen Shoot Returning Officer While Conveying Result In Benue

 

 

Gunmen suspected to be fishermen on the Banks of River Benue along the Makurdi old bridge, killed two members of the Nigerian Legion working as guards at a disputed piece of land where a top government appointee in charge of revenue collection is constructing fish ponds.

The Deputy Governor, Mr. Benson Abounu who disclosed this to Channels Television in Makurdi, asked the police and other security operatives to bring the perpetrators to justice, irrespective of the grievances leading to the crisis where construction equipment was also burnt.

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Mr. Abounu stressed that the state government is doing all to keep the state safe, he added that the murder case will not be taken likely and stressed that the culprits will be fished out soon.

An eyewitness explained that the victims who were guarding the premises are the latest victims of the criminal activities on that portion of the road and recommend the land be donated to the Nigerian police for effective surveillance.

The witness disclosed that the bodies of the two members of the Nigerian Legion were thrown into River Benue.

‘It’s Benue Peoples Victory,’ Ortom Lauds Appeal Court Verdict

Ortom Condoles With APC Over Benue LG Chairman's Death
(File) Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom

 

 

Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, has commended the judgment of the Court of Appeal with affirmed his re-election.

The court had in a unanimous judgement on Thursday dismissed the appeal filed by the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its candidate in the poll, Mr Emmauel Jime, for lacking in merit.

In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Terver Akase, Governor Ortom described the judgment as victory for the people of the state who gave him a second term mandate.

READ ALSO: Court Dismisses Jime, APC’s Appeal Challenging Ortom’s Re-Election

The Governor stated that the appellate court’s verdict has not only validated the earlier judgment of the Governorship Election Tribunal but also confirmed the choice of Benue voters in the 2019 polls.

He thanked God for giving him the opportunity to lead the state for another term and appreciated the leadership and members of the PDP in the state, as well as the people of the state.

Governor Ortom specially commended his legal team for its outstanding performance at the Tribunal and the Court of Appeal and stressed that the task of building the state was the responsibility of all the people.

He, therefore, called on the APC candidate and other contestants in the last election to join hands with him to develop Benue State.

The governor emphasised the willingness of his administration to collaborate with sons and daughters of the state irrespective of political differences, ethnicity, religion and place of origin, for a greater Benue.

Court Dismisses Jime, APC’s Appeal Challenging Ortom’s Re-Election

2019 Elections: Ortom Picks PDP Nomination Form
A file photo of Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom.

 

 

The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja has affirmed the victory of Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State in the March 9 governorship election.

In a unanimous judgement delivered on Thursday, the court dismissed the appeal filed by the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its candidate in the poll, Mr Emmauel Jime, for lacking in merit.

The judgment also resolved all the issues against the appellants.

READ ALSO: ‘It’s Benue Peoples Victory,’ Ortom Lauds Appeal Court Verdict

Meanwhile, the appellate court awarded the sum of N150,000 fine against the APC candidate.

Governor Ortom contested for re-election on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) after defecting from the APC.

In his reaction, the governor described the judgment as a victory for the people of the state who gave him a second term mandate.

In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Terver Akase, he noted that verdict has not only validated the earlier judgment of the Governorship Election Tribunal but also confirmed the choice of Benue voters in the 2019 polls.

The governor also thanked the leadership and members of the PDP in the state and the residents in general for the support given to him.

He thanked his legal team for its outstanding performance at the Tribunal and the Court of Appeal.

Governor Ortom, however, stressed that the task of building the state was the responsibility of all the people and called on the APC candidate and other contestants in the last election to join hands with him to develop Benue.

He stated that his administration would collaborate with sons and daughters of the state, irrespective of political differences, ethnicity, religion, and place of origin.

One Reported Killed As Flood Hits 37 Communities In Benue

 

One person has been reported drowned as flood submerges schools, power installations, and rice farms in 37 communities of Agatu Local Government Area of Benue State.

The incident has forced hundreds of residents from their homes as they now take refuge along the Guto-Oweto highway in the state.

The flood is a result of an overflow of the shallow River Benue which could not contain the release of excess water from the Lado Dam in Cameroon.

Residents of Utugolugu, one of the affected communities lamented in an interview with Channels Television that they have been victims of floods since 2012.

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The floods hit the communities while the people of Agatu, one of the worst-hit areas in Benue from the many years of herdsmen attacks, were still in the recovery process.

During a visit to some of the affected areas, Channels Television uncovered a submerged transformer which holds great danger for anyone who attempts any form of evacuating their belongings.

 

The most dangerous part of the flood was a twenty-minute boat ride to Utugolugu where the entire community was submerged.

Residents in this community practically live in the water, cook on elevated wooden platforms, and sleeps on the roofs of their homes.

Some of the residents, Oigene Haruna and Queen Matthew, urged the government to come to their rescue, saying the suffering was much for them.

 

According to the, their children have no access to their school and no functional hospital while they have continued to live right inside the water for more than three months.

The lawmaker representing Agatu State Constituency in the Benue State House of Assembly, Godwin Edoh, and the Ada’Agatu, Godwin Onah, said the situation requires an urgent intervention of the government.

Why Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore’s President Must Be Arrested – Ortom

Governor Samuel Ortom

 

 

Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State has explained why he called for the arrest of the President of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore.

The governor who received Nobel Laureate Professor Wole Soyinka at the Government House in Makurdi on Tuesday revealed that he would file a formal complaint to the security agencies.

He vowed to petition the Inspector General of Police, the Director-General of the Department of State Services (DSS), and the Presidency to ensure that the association’s president was arrested for allegedly threatening states like Benue for rejecting the establishment of the Rural Grazing Area (RUGA).

“He should be arrested because there is no hate speech more than the one he was saying and was given wide publicity that governors who do not embrace cattle colony and RUGA will not know peace,” the governor alleged.

He added, “We have seen it before and why should we allow a person like this to go scot-free in impunity? If we want to live as a country, this should not be allowed … this is the way to go.”

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More Problems In Benue?

In the heat of the crisis between herdsmen and farmers that claimed many lives and forced hundreds of residents from their houses in Benue, the state government had taken some measures to address the situation.

One of the major steps taken by the government was the passage and assent to the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law by the Benue State House of Assembly and Governor Ortom respectively in November 2017.

Although the governor noted that the state government was open to ideas and recommendations on how to tackle the crisis between farmers and herders in the state, he insisted that the RUGA scheme was not an option to consider.

He stated, “I have challenged Nigerians, the Federal Government, state, and all Nigerians that if the prohibition of open grazing in Benue State law of 2017; if you have any order policy that can restore peace for farmers and herdsmen in this country or in Benue State, please bring it on the table.”

“We are willing to go back to our people and say there is a better option, but the option cannot be RUGA, cattle colony, and open grazing.

“It cannot be those ones; they are not there because they will not solve the problem, they will create more problems.”

Ochanya: Benue Arraigns Senior Lecturer Over Rape, Death Of Teenager

Gunmen Shoot Returning Officer While Conveying Result In Benue

 

The Benue State Government has arraigned Mr Andrew Ogbuja, a senior lecturer at the Benue State Polytechnic, Ugbokolo, who was alleged to have raped to death 13-year-old girl, Ochanya Ogbanje.

Mr Ogbuja, 54, was arraigned on Thursday, nearly one year after Ochanya’s death from complications said to have resulted from her prolonged rape by the suspect and his son, Victor.

Ochanya died on October 17, 2018.

On the other hand, Victor who is the suspect in the case is now at large and is yet to be arrested or declared wanted.

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During proceedings at the Benue State High Court in Makurdi, four charges bordering on rape and murder were read to Ogbuja and he pleaded not guilty.

Following his not guilty plea, the prosecuting lawyer and deputy director of the Benue State Public Prosecution, Mr P Ukande, urged the court to remand the defendant and fix a date for trial.

The defence lawyer, Mr Abel Onoja, said he was not against the application for trial.

He, however, prayed the court to make an order to compel the prosecution to ensure that the medical experts named in the suit were physically brought before the court to testify.

“My Lord, I have a motion which seeks to compel the prosecution to produce medical experts who have been mentioned in the proof of evidence to be put on notice as to their physical appearance in court, so that they can testify when the trial commences,” Onoja said.

In his response, the prosecuting counsel said it was “premature to come up with such a request, given the fact that the trial has not fully commenced.”

The trial judge, Justice Augustine Ityonyiman, agreed with the prosecution and overruled the defendant’s application, saying “it is premature.”

The court then adjourned the case until November 14 for the commencement of trial.

Court one of the charge read, “That you, Andrew Ogbuja, male and one Victor Ogbuja, your son who is now at large between 2013 and 2015 at your residence in Ugbokolo town, Okpokwu Local Government Area of Benue State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court agreed to do illegal acts, to wit: severally rape one Elizabeth Ochanya Ogbanje from the age 7 to 13 years when she was placed under your care and same acts were done pursuant to the said agreement and you thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 97 of the Penal Code, CAP. 124 Laws of Benue State, 2004.”

Count Four also read, “That you, Andrew Ogbuja, male and one Victor Ogbuja, your son who is now at large between 2013 and 2015 at your residence in Ugbokolo town, Okpokwu Local Government Area of Benue State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court intentionally caused the death of one Elizabeth Ochanya Ogbanje, a minor, aged 13 years placed under your care and lived with your family in that between 2013 and 2015 when she was between 7-13 years old, you raped the said Elizabeth Ochanya Ogbanje severally as a result of which she died in October, 2017 of sexual abuse related disease and you thereby committed an offence punishable under section 222 of the Penal Code CAP. 124 Laws of Benue State, 2004.”

No Compromise On National Unity, Buhari Tells Benue Traditional Leaders

 

President Muhammadu Buhari Wednesday in Abuja declared that he is fully committed to the unity of Nigeria, and will devote all his time and energy to promoting it for the benefit of Nigerians.

Speaking during a visit to the State House by a delegation of Benue State Council of Traditional Rulers led by the Tor Tiv, Prof. James Ayatse, the President called for better appreciation of the historical relationships among various communities in order to sustain the nation’s unity.

Stressing that ties between the Tiv and his own ethnic Fulani stock, which predated him and the current generation, helped in ensuring peaceful and harmonious co-existence among the people, he expressed optimism that such cordial bonds will continue to endure among various groups and serve as a strong unifying force in the country.

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President Buhari decried the misunderstanding of internal conflicts by many people at home and abroad, citing the farmer-herders clashes which in several places had been misconstrued as religious, when in fact they arose from social and cultural factors.

He restated his appeal for better understanding of the nation’s diverse cultures in order to engender a healthier co-existence among the people, while fortifying and strengthening the unity of the country.

Responding to the narration of the Tor Tiv on the plight of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) from the recent conflicts in the State, the President said he was aware of that, and all that obtains in the Northeast, the Northwest and the South-South.

He noted that it is in realisation of the foregoing and the urgent need to ameliorate the plight of the IDPs that he created the new Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, “so that we have a ministry that coordinates their demands, and we avoid duplication of resources.”

President Buhari expressed delight with the leadership of the Tor Tiv and other traditional rulers in their various communities as well as for their strong support for his administration.

He promised to look into the “long list” of the delegation’s demands, and thanked the royal fathers for showing appreciation for what his administration has done in the State in terms of projects and appointments.

Earlier, the Tor Tiv had described the recent triumph of the President at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal as “God-given victory and mandate to reconstruct, rebuild and unify the country and take it to the Next Level of socio-economic development.”

“We are here to pledge our support and encouragement to your administration and its laudable programmes,” His Royal Majesty added.