Adams Oshiomhole, former national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has retracted allegations he made against Samuel Ortom, governor of Benue state.
At a press conference on July 27, 2018, Oshiomhole had alleged that the governor mismanaged bailout funds and Paris Club refund. He also accused him of refusing to pay salaries, thereby deepening poverty in Benue.
Oshimhole’s comments had come in the wake of Ortom’s defection from the APC to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Ortom had immediately demanded a retraction, and N10 billion to be paid as “punitive, general, exemplary and aggravated damages”.
Almost three years later, Oshiomhole has now admitted that the allegations made against the governor were false. He issued the retraction in the pages of some national dailies on Thursday.
“On the 27th day of July, 2018 at the National Headquarters of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and particularly in my capacity then as the Chairman of the Party, I addressed different national issues as well as some events which occurred in Benue State, including the movement earlier that day of his Excellency, Dr. Samuel Ortom (Executive Governor of Benue State) from the All Progressives Congress (APC) to the Peoples Democratic Party,” the retraction signed by Oshimhole read.
“In the course of the press conference, I made certain comments about Dr Ortom on the basis of information I have since found to be false and baseless.
“His Excellency Dr Samuel Ortom felt embarrassed, defamed and deeply aggrieved by the comments I made at the said press conference, culminating in litigation.
“That politics aside, Governor Samuel Ortom is a dear friend and brother with whom I have shared so much in common, including mutual respect.
“That as former colleagues and one time members of the Nigerian Governors’ forum and most importantly as someone whom I am just a phone call away from, any ridicule, embarrassment, spite and insult caused Dr Samuel Ortom is regretted.
“Owing to the relationship we share and in the larger interest of peace, harmony and brotherliness, I believe a complete retraction of my comments made on 27th July, 2018, and which Dr Samuel Ortom found offensive is proper and necessary.
“In view of all the above, I hereby retract the comments made during the press conference on 27th July, 2018, as it relates to Dr Samuel Ortom.”