Recall that Oshiomhole during a media briefing, had said he suspected that Ortom was involved in the murder of two Catholic priests.
The priests were killed alongside 17 parishioners by gunmen who attacked Ayar Mbalon village, Gwer East Local Government Area (LGA) of Benue in April 2018.
“One of these Reverend Fathers in a church sermon was extremely critical of the governance in Benue and of the style of governance of Governor Ortom and his price obviously was that few weeks after this sermon he had to pay with his dear life,” Oshiomhole was quoted to have said.
Oshiomhole was promptly sued by Ortom, and demanded N10 billion for the libelous statement against him.
The case had dragged on for a while, but in a surprise twist, Oshiomhole issued a retraction which was published in national newspaper today, 18th March, 2021.
RETRACTION OF PUBLICATION
On the 27th day of July, 2018 at the National Headquarters of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and particularly in my capacity then as the Chairman of the Party, I addressed different national issues as well as some events which occurred in Benue State, including the movement earlier that day of his Excellency, Dr. Samuel Ortom (Executive Governor of Benue State) from the All Progressives Congress (APC) to the Peoples Democratic Party.
In the course of the press conference, I made certain comments about Dr Ortom on the basis of information I have since found to be false and baseless.
His Excellency Dr Samuel Ortom felt embarrassed, defamed and deeply aggrieved by the comments I made at the said press conference, culminating in litigation.
That politics aside, Governor Samuel Ortom is a dear friend and brother with whom I have shared so much in common, including mutual respect.
That as former colleagues and one time members of the Nigerian Governors’ forum and most importantly as someone whom I am just a phone call away from, any ridicule, embarrassment, spite and insult caused Dr Samuel Ortom is regretted.
Owing to the relationship we share and in the larger interest of peace, harmony and brotherliness, I believe a complete retraction of my comments made on 27th July, 2018, and which Dr Samuel Ortom found offensive is proper and necessary.
In view of all the above, I hereby retract the comments made during the press conference on 27th July, 2018, as it relates to Dr Samuel Ortom.
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