Suswam’s Trial: Ortom fights AGF Malami dirty for stopping arraignment
There is another twist to the planned arraignment of a former governor of Benue state, Rt. Hon (Dr) Gabriel Torwua Suswam PhD, which was aborted yesterday by the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Alhaji Abubakar Malami.
It would be recalled that the AGF had yesterday aborted the arraignment after he discovered that the trial which lacked no merit was only a plan by Suswam’s successor, Mr. Samuel Ortom, to score some political goals.
Apart from ordering the police prosecutor to send the case file to his office and wait for a proper advice from the Federal Ministry of Justice, AGF Malami also forced Justice Kolawole of the Federal High to adjourn the case indefinitely to enable him conduct a comprehensive investigation into all the allegations preferred against the former governor, his erstwhile finance commissioner, Mr. Omadachi Oklobia, and one Mrs Janet Aluga.
Nigerian Concord’s reliable sources close to the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation informed that Governor Samuel Ortom called Alhaji Malami around 11:50PM yesterday (Wednesday) from South Africa where he is currently attending a conference to express his displeasure over aborted arraignment.
According to one of the top aides to Mr. Malami who confided in this newspaper over the development, the GSM number with which Governor Ortom used to call Malami’s line ( 08034512381) was 08033461869.
During the conversation which the AGF reportedly put on speakerphone, Governor Ortom was quoted as saying that all his plan was to ensure that his successor was embarrassed at the court by the police prosecutors who had reportedly been settled with 25 million Naira through the Benue state Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Mike Gusah.
The source continued that the governor who insulted AGF Malami seriously during the conversation also said it many times that he (AGF) did a wrong thing by allowing Suswam go scot free after he had settled the prosecutors to object his bail application and thereby ensure that he was remanded in prison custody.
It was also gathered that Ortom had earlier begged Alhaji Malami to speed up his investigation and return the case file to the Judge so that Dr. Suswam can expressly be tried but the AGF declined, saying that he would never allow any federal agency under his care to be used by any politician to achieve political goals.
Responding to Ortom’s request, Malami, according to the information reaching Nigerian Concord, said he would investigate the allegations independently and do the needful if they are found out to be frivolous.
Our source said Malami clearly warned Ortom to stop putting federal agencies into integrity mess by using them for his own political goals.
The AGF was said to have also referred Ortom to the national disgrace he brought to the Nigerian Police when he forced them to illegally arrest Hon. Solomon Wombo and some of former officials of the state some months ago.
He also told the governor that his integrity was put on the line when the Presidency was briefed on the incident then.
However, this newspaper gathered that while Governor Ortom has threatened to deal with Malami in his own way if he fails to return the case file to the judge, the AGF on his own too has threatened to ask President Buhari to warn all the federal agencies under him (Malami) to stop allowing themselves to be used by politicians to score political goals.