How Ortom Forced Mkar Former VC To Change Statement Over Tondo’s Murder
Nigerian Concord can authoritatively report that the immediate past Vice Chancellor of University of Mkar in Benue State, Professor Emmanuel Agba, was forced by the state government under Governor Samuel Ortom to recant the oral statement he earlier made to the state police commissioner, Mr. Bashir Makama, over the murder of Mr. William Tondo who is a lecturer with the institution until his death.
The late Tondo, an APC chairmanship aspirant in Buruku local government, was in August this year murdered at his residence by four gun men few day after he had an open confrontation with the state commissioner for Arts, Culture and Tourism, Mr Sekav Iortyom, in a beer joint in Gboko over his (Tondo) refusal to step down for Mr. David Yimam who is the commissioner’s preferred candidate for the post.
Mr. David Yimam is the current accountant of Benue Links, and he has been anointed by Honourable Sekav Iortyom, the leader of the Senator George Akume’s Camp, as the ruling party’s chairmanship candidate Buruku local government.
After Tondo’s murder, Nigerian Concord reported that former Vice Chancellor Emmanuel Agba had disclosed to the state commissioner of police, Mr. Makama, that the deceased revealed to him that the gun men mentioned the name of the commissioner (Mr. Iortyom) as the one who sent them to kill him.
Immediately this newspaper broke the story, it was gathered that pressures were mounted on Professor Agba to publicly deny the story.
A close confidant of Governor Ortom told Nigerian Concord that the governor called the former Vice Chancellor and ordered him to recant his statement that he told the police chief that Tondo mentioned Hon. Iortyom’s names as the person who sent the killers to shoot him.
Following serious pressures from the Governor, Professor Agba had on the 31st of August, 2016 written a letter to Nigerian Concord, asking the newspaper to urgently remove the paragraph where he was quoted to have told Commissioner of Police Makama that the late Tondo told him before he died that it was Iortyom that sent the assassins that shot him on the fateful day.
In the letter which was sent to Nigerian Concord via an electronic mail, Professor Agba who was obviously afraid that assassins could also be sent after him for the great revelation he made on Tondo’s murder, said that he would take a legal action against this newspaper on the 7th September if the story wasn’t removed from concord’s official website.
Also in a September 3, 2016 telephone chat, the former Vice Chancellor who called this newspaper via his telephone line 08060995318 said that he didn’t tell the police commissioner or anyone that the deceased mentioned the suspect’s name before he finally gave up the ghost.
It would be recalled that Mr. Iortyom was arrested by men of the Nigerian Police Force in Benue state for sending four gun men to assassinate Mr. Tondo, a chairmanship Aspirant of the ruling party in Buruku local government area of Benue state.
He was released following pressures from Senator Akume who said he wanted to handle the case by himself.
Nigerian Concord exclusively gathered that the deceased was having serious political crises with Hon. Iortyom who is a leader of Senator Akume’s camp of the APC in Buruku local government, over his (Tondo) refusal to step down for the commissioner’s favourite.
While Iortyom is backing the current accountant of Benue Links, Mr. David Yimam, for chairmanship in Buruku local government another member of Senator Akume’s camp, a Retired Deputy Comptroller of the Nigerian Customs, Mr. Rhoda Akor, was the one sponsoring the deceased.
Before his murder, Tondo, this newspaper gathered, had an exchange of word with Mr. Iortyom who threatened to deal with him with all his powers.
During the argument, Hon. Iortyom reportedly vowed that over his dead body would Tondo become the chairman of Buruku Local Government.
It was learnt that some days after the face-off, about four armed men came to Mr. Tondo’s residence in Buruku and accused him of dragging the APC’s chairmanship ticket with the favourite candidate of the commissioner.
The gun men, according to report, told the deceased that he was going to pay with his life for challenging the commissioner whom they said had already paid them for his life to be taken away.
After the killers had shot Mr. Tondo, Nigerian Concord gathered that his family rushed him to a hospital in Gboko from where he was referred to the Teaching Hospital in Makurdi.
It was also disclosed to this newspaper that the deceased, while receiving treatment at the Teaching Hospital, also called the commissioner on phone to say that he had gotten the death message he sent to him through the four gun men that shot him.
Also, the Benue State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Bashir Makama, went to the University of Mkar to get the details from its former Vice Chancellor, Professor Agba, who briefed him about all what Tondo said that it was the commissioner (Iortyom) who sent the killers to him.