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Ortom seeks compensation for victims of alleged military attack

By Joseph Wantu, Makurdi   |   09 September 2015   |   5:58 am  

Ortom. Photo; thesheet

Ortom. Photo; thesheet

GOVERNOR Samuel Ortom of Benue State has revealed that he has requested compensation for the victims of the military attack on a community in North Bank, part of the state capital.

Ortom made this disclosure when a delegation from the National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, led by the Executive Secretary, Professor Bem Angwe, visited him in Makurdi.

The Governor also said that he forwarded a protest letter with an attachment of a comprehensive list of the destruction to President Muhammadu Buhari, who expressed his displeasure on the incident, directed the Chief of Army Staff to investigate the matter and sanction those found culpable.

He said although the Commandant of the Nigerian Army School of Military Engineering, NASME, apologized for the attack, adequate compensation was needed for the victims most of who he said lost their means of livelihood.

“The only way to stop this kind of action, which is a crime against humanity and the people of the state is to mete out sanctions against the perpetrators,” he stated.

“We appreciate the commission for responding promptly to the request to investigate the matter and the House of Representatives member, who reported the matter, for living up his responsibilities.”

Speaking earlier, the Executive Secretary, Professor Angwe, stated that he had brought experts from the commission to assess the destruction caused by the military attack on North Bank community recently.

He said they were responding to a petition filed by member of the House of Representatives for Makurdi/Guma Federal Constituency, Mr. Dickson Tarkighir. Professor Angwe stated that the Military High Command also assured him of support in investigation the matter.

In another development, the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Makurdi, the Benue State capital has reserved judgment indefinitely in the election petition filed by the Peoples Democratic Party’s candidate, PDP Terhemen Tarzoor challenging the election of Samuel Ortom of All Progressives Congress, APC, as winner of the April 11 Governorship poll.
The decision was reached after parties to the petition adopted final written addresses and argued the preliminary objections to the petition.

Chief Niyi Akintola SAN, who led a team of counsels for the first respondent urged the court to dismiss the petitioner challenging the election of Governor Ortom on account that it is incompetent insisting that no person known to law was signatory to Tarzoor’s petition.

Akintola SAN also submitted that Tarzoor is a meddlesome interloper in the affairs of the APC as he was not an aspirant on the party’s platform and only relied on hearsay to claim that Ortom is not a member of the APC and was not sponsored by the party.

According to Akintola, the petitioner has failed to prove his case, insisting that there is no countable relief before the tribunal that is grantable and urged the court to dismiss same because the petition lacks merit, it is frivolous and should be considered abandoned.

Moving his motion on notice seeking the dismissal of the petition, lead counsel to the APC, Sebastine Hon, SAN submitted that the petitioner has been caught by the principle of Res Judicata and hence his reason for the preliminary objection.



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