By Steve Aya
The war of words between the former Governor of Benue State, Senator George Akume, and the present Governor, Samuel Ortom, on Friday took a legal turn as Governor Samuel Ortom filed a lawsuit seeking the payment of N60 billion from the Minister of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs, Senator George Akume for defamation.
The suit which marked No. MHC/268/2021, was filed on behalf of the Governor by Okon N. Efut, SAN, and four other Lawyers at the Makurdi High Court.
In the suit, Ortom is demanding a N50 billion payment as general damages, as well as additional N10 billion as exemplary and aggravated damages from Akume.
This is coming after Akume had accused Ortom of disrespecting the President Muhammadu Buhari. The Minister had also alleged that, Ortom was involved in some corruption activities.
Akume who addressed a press conference in Abuja, on Monday, accused the Governor of “corruption, ineptitude and disrespect to the President”.
The Minister also alleged that Ortom allocated N800 million monthly to himself as security vote, a claim the Governor had since denied, describing it as as “unfortunate and amounts to a betrayal, back-stabbing, double-crossing, selling out of Benue people, treachery, greed, unfaithfulness and falsehood”.
In another move, the Governor has filed a lawsuit seeking a perpetual injunction restraining the Defendant by himself or through any agent, servants or privies from similar or further publication of any defamatory statement against him.