The asset recovery committee set up by Hyacinth Alia, governor of Benue, has raided an automobile shop allegedly owned by Samuel Ortom, the former governor.
Alia had accused Ortom’s administration of looting, alleging that he “met no single car or truck in government house”.
The committee was said to have seized some vehicles during the operation and used towing vans to pull out others, after attempts to drive them away failed.
Reacting in a statement, Bemgba Iortyom, PDP state publicity secretary, described the committee’s outing as “a shameful show of naked tyranny and impunity”.
He also said the shop is a private automobile workshop owned by the former governor’s business concern, Oracle Nigeria Limited.
“Staff of the workshop have confirmed to PDP that the vehicles, of a yet to be ascertained number, were those brought there for repairs by private owners and are not in any wise from any public source,” the statement reads.
Meanwhile, in a separate statement condemning the raid, Terver Akase, Ortom’s spokesperson, contradicted Iortyom by saying the shop raided was a commercial workshop operated by London Lines Transport Limited.
“We are shocked beyond belief at the development which smacks of lawlessness,” the statement reads.
‘OLD ORDER GONE FOR GOOD’
Reacting, Tersoo Kula, the governor’s spokesperson, said claims by the PDP and Akase that Ortom was being harassed and witch-hunted are false.
“Ortom was not and has never been the target, as his aide and the Publicity Secretary of his party would want the unsuspecting mass of Benue people to falsely believe, in a bid to curry undue public sympathy,” the statement reads.
“The discovery and recovery of numerous vehicles at a private building within the state capital by the committee is an indication that they have truly swung into action.”
Kula also questioned the contradiction in the names of companies operating the workshop, saying it is “a case of double-speak and a feeble depiction of desperation to defend the indefensible”.
“The questions begging for answers are: who truly owns the automobile workshop? Is London Line Transport Ltd a sister or cousin enterprise to Oracle Business Ltd?
“Does former governor Ortom own both companies? Can we see papers apportioning proprietary rights to owners of the cars taken from the workshop?
“We witnessed a regime that supervised broad-day robbery and rape of our common patrimony. Let it be made abundantly clear that the old order is gone, and gone for good.
“The good thing is that the discovery and retrieval of more Benue assets currently in the wrong hands, will provide the right ground for accountability in the Alia led administration in the state.”