Ortom’s Former Chief Of Staff Demands Refund of N160m Loan, ‘I Don’t Owe You’ – The Gov Replies

Terwase Orbunde, former Chief of Staff to Benue State governor Samuel Ortom, has fallen out with his former principal and now demanding the refund of a N160million loan he claimed he gave to Ortom to prosecute his 2015 governorship election campaign.

But Mr. Ortom has denied borrowing money from his former aide.

Orbunde had in a letter dated 16th April, 2022, requested that the Governor reimbursed him to the tune of N160m, which he claimed to have “invested” in Ortom’s governorship campaign in All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2014.

According to him, the amount was proceeds of his property in Wuye, Abuja which he allegedly sold at that time.

In the said letter, he said that he needs the money to move his family out of the official apartments given to him in Commissioner’s Quarters, Makurdi.

But Ortom, in his reply letter, dated 23rd April, 2022, denied knowledge of any “investment” in his 2015 campaign to the tune of N160m from his erstwhile Chief of Staff.

The governor said he was surprised that such a request for reimbursement was coming seven years after the campaign. He added that he was ready to assist Orbunde, but regretted that the request was bad in bad faith.

“The fact that we worked together in 2014 to realize my Governorship ambition cannot be over-emphasised. However, as the Chief Visioner, I was always aware and in control of all the interventions from friends and associates aimed at prosecuting my elections and such were always acknowledged. I really cannot recall when we discussed and you made available or invested the sum of One Hundred and Sixty Million Naira (N160,000,000.00) in my campaign or election in 2015 or at any other time at all.

“As my political ally, if this request is coming from you for assistance, it would be understood and I can always assist as usual to the best of my ability. I am rather surprised that this appeal for reimbursement is coming after seven (7) years of my becoming Governor of Benue State and therefore, I consider same as made in bad faith, to say the least”, Ortom said in his reply.

Orbunde, a native of Kwande Local Government Area, after resigning his appointment as Ortom’s Chief of Staff late last year, had aspired to get the Benue State PDP Governorship ticket for the 2023 elections.

However, he was not favoured in the just concluded consensus arrangements by the Tiv stakeholders, as the position was rather zoned to the neighbouring Vandeikya Local Government Area, with the Speaker of Benue House of Assembly, RT. Hon. Titus Uba emerging from the area.

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