Benue Massacre: Ortom indicted by Police secret reports which say he instigated killings for political reasons
Nigerian Concord Newspaper
Saying that the governor of Benue state, Mr. Samuel Ortom, was the principal architect of the January massive killings in the state, a secret police report which was emailed to Nigerian Concord by a top police informant has claimed that the governor personally instigated and teleguided the attacks for political reasons.
According to our informant at the Police Headquarters in Abuja, releasing the reports to the public is still being delayed by the governor’s struggle to have it killed and buried permanently.
The source added that the Nigerian Police needed to conduct the secret inquiry with the help of their countrrparts in the United States and France when it became obvious that the attacks which led to an instant killings of about 73 people were masterminded by top Benue politicians to score political goals.
Governor Ortom who was secretly briefed about the reports by his allies in the Nigerian Police is however said to be making frantic efforts to ensure that his men within the rank and file of the police force stop the reports from getting to the public.
Our sources pressed further that the police also other Nigerian security operatives to pursue new leads in the January 1 2018 massacre in Benue state following what is described as discovery of state involvement in the carnage.
It would be recalled that sores of people were killed in attacks alleged to have been carried out by armed Fulani herdsmen while the state later held a mass burial for 75 corpses with images that outraged the nation and the entire world.
But investigators are now looking into the role played by the state governor, Mr Samuel Ortom, following revelations that he instigated and teleguided the attacks to provoke widespread crisis in Benue state for reasons that are yet to be established.
Another police source, who craved anonymity because the security report from the investigation is yet to be officially presented, revealed that investigators were shocked when they first discovered the role played by Mr. Ortom because he was ordinarily expected to act in the interest of the people of the state being its chief security officer.
The source said “This line of inquiry was initially ignored because no one would expect that His Excellency Governor Ortom would invite armed men to come and kill his own people, these are citizens that he should protect with his life being the chief security officer of Benue state.
“The way he has been speaking in public and in the media, like when he said he was ready to die for Benue state, was such that we did not initially think to seriously consider him as the architect of the killings. Also look at how the youths he gave guns as militia came out, it was not possible to think that he will give his people guns and then call other people with guns to come and kill them. It is unthinkable but that is what we have discovered,”
“Even our team leader in this investigation is confused about how to proceed. When you start your work thinking you will catch killers and criminals then the next thing you see that the person behind it is not just a high-ranking politician but a sitting governor then the confusion can only be imagined,” he revealed.
Another source in the Presidency said top politicians were caught off-guard by the development, including Mr. Ortom, who is now doing everything to “sink the investigation and burry the report.”
According to the source, “You’ll notice that Governor Ortom, who had been accusatory and combative, suddenly became conciliatory. That happened only after he became aware that investigators are onto him. He has been reaching out to the same people he had earlier accused of causing problem for his state after he discovered blackmail will not take him far.
He explained that “What he (Ortom) has going for him now is that those at the Federal level are worried about the way the opposition will react if a report is concluded and they lay their hands on it. It would easily be interpreted as the ruling party ordering the execution of Benue people and that is something that is being avoided.”
He also said that the police investigators were very shocked when they confirmed that the AK47 riffles that were caught with members of the Security Task Force that were arrested by some Shoulders were given to them by Governor Ortom himself.
The sources however revealed that Mr. Ortom is gaining traction to kill the report.