By James Ibechi
Benue State Government has debunked claims in some quarters that Governor Samuel Ortom is responsible for the arrest of his predecessor, Gabriel Suswam, by the Department of State Services.
According to a statement by Mr. Terver Akase, the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, the claims that the arrest was based on a petition by the governor, are false.
Mr. Akase’s statement was contained in a press release he signed.
“We wish to categorically state that Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom did not write a petition which led to the arrest of former Governor of the State, Gabriel Suswam, contrary to some media reports,” the statement read in part.
An aide to Suswam, who confirmed his arrest, had alleged on Tuesday that he was arrested as a result of a petition by the Governor Ortom.
The government, however, believes the allegation is false and aimed at causing disaffection and creating “a state of confusion” in Benue.
It, however, said that it had written a petition to the DSS against the leaders of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore as a result of the killings in the state.
Since New Year’s Day when suspected herdsmen attacked the state killing 73 persons in what turned out to be the start of a fresh wave of killings in the state, the Governor has blamed the attacks on Miyetti Allah.
The group has strongly opposed the state’s anti-open grazing law and the government says it will not relent until victims of the attacks get justice.
“The Benue State Government has written a petition against leaders of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore and has filed a lawsuit against the group. The State Government has evidence to prove that the socio-cultural organisation is responsible for recent attacks and killing of innocent people in the state,” the government said.
“The Ortom administration will not be distracted from its commitment to get justice for victims of mindless attacks on the state.”