In a statement issued by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Terver Akase, the committee has the Commissioner for Information, Culture, and Tourism, Rt. Hon. Ngunan Addingi; Commissioner for Water Resources and Environment, Dondo Ahire and the Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Dr. Timothy Ijir as members.
Other members of the taskforce include Mr. Apir Ityu, Dr. Terna Kur, Mr. Agwaza Iorkpiligh, Mr. Matthew Uyina, Mr. Moses Leva, Dr. Edward Amali, Mr. Claude Bitaronga.
Also not left out are Dr. Peteru Inunduh, Professor Terrumun Swende, Dr. Alli Cornelius, Dr. Patrick Echekwube and Mr. Micheal Adejo.
The governor charged members of the panel to proactively monitor, supervise and coordinate the state government’s response to the dreaded disease.
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.”
The Supreme Court has affirmed the election of Samuel Ortom as the Governor of Benue State.
Emmanuel Jime of the All Progressives Congress (APC), had dragged Ortom to court over allegations of over-voting and other electoral malpractices during the 2019 governorship elections.
But in a unanimous judgment delivered by Justice Sylvester Ngwuta on Tuesday, the apex court agreed with the concurrent findings of the election petition tribunal and the Court of Appeal that Ortom was the winner of the 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.
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.
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.”
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.”
The Benue State governorship election petition tribunal has reserved judgement in a petition filed by Mr Emmanuel Jime and the All Progressive Congress (APC) challenging the victory of Governor Samuel Ortom of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The tribunal will fix a date for judgement to be communicated to both parties involved in the case.
Mr Jime and the APC filed the petition on the grounds that Ortom was not duly elected by majority of lawful votes.
The PDP had asked the tribunal to dismiss Jime’s petition and that of his party for lacking in evidential and material value.
PDP’s Counsel and a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mr. Chris Uche moved the motion before the tribunal while adopting their final written addresses by parties before the Justice Henry Oluseyi led panel.
The Benue State Security Council has suspended three traditional rulers following the crisis which resulted in the killing of nine persons in the state at the weekend.
Those suspended include the district head of Mbacher, Mr Luke Atomigba for allegedly inciting and sponsoring the crisis while the Third Class chiefs of Chongo and Ipuusu were suspended for alleged negligence and pursuit of clannish interest, fueling the crisis.
Briefing journalist on the resolutions reached after a long meeting, Chairman of the Council and Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom, recommended the suspended chiefs for further disciplinary measures.
Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, has closed his defence at the governorship election petition tribunal sitting in Makurdi, after calling a witness in the petition filed by Mr Emmanuel Jime of the All Progressive Congress challenging his re-election.
Counsel to the governor, Mr Sebastian, who was the second respondent, told the tribunal that the cross-examination of the petitioner’s witnesses and their failure to sign the witness statements on oath, showed the petitioner’s inability to prove the allegation of irregularities at the poll.
On his part, counsel to the petitioner, Mr Kehinde Eleja, told journalists at the end of the sitting, that the petitioner has sufficiently proven its case of over-voting.
He said he believed the tribunal would determine that the use of card readers was compulsory in the 2019 general election.