Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State has rejected a request by his former Chief of Staff, Terwase Orbunde, for the reimbursement of N160m Orbunde claims to have spent on Ortom’s governorship campaign in 2014.
In a letter titled, ‘Appeal for Reimbursement’ addressed to the governor dated April 16, 2021, Orbunde said he sold his house located at Plot 715 Wuye BO3 District, Abuja on August 4, 2014 for N160m and invested the fund in Ortom’s campaign.
The former chief of staff asked the governor to quickly make the money available so he could move his family and belongings out of his official quarters as soon as possible.
But Ortom in a letter dated April 23, 2022 marked GHA/FIN/31/T.7/1 and titled, ‘Re: Appeal for Reimbursement’, the governor said he was unaware of the N160m purportedly invested in his campaign.
The governor said he was surprised that such a request for reimbursement was coming seven years after the campaign.
Ortom added, “The fact that we worked together in 2014 to realise 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 N160m 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 years of my being governor and I consider this as being made in bad faith to say the least.”