He is my ‘friend and brother’, Oshiomhole apologises to Ortom

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A former chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, has retracted some statements he made in 2018 and tendered unreserved apology to Governor Samuel Ortom for accusing him of murder

The former governor of Edo State in his retraction admitted that he acted based on information which, in retrospect, he has now found to be false and baseless.

While calling the shots as national chairman of the ruling APC, Oshiomhole, during a media briefing in 2018, had said Orton 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 of Benue in April 2018.

Ortom would later defect from the APC to the People’s Democratic Party in the wake of the attack

But while reacting to the defection Oshiomhole blamed Ortom for the growing insecurity in Benue State and alleged that he had a hand in the murder of the priests.

Ortom dragged the former Edo governor to court and demanded N10 billion for the libelous statement against him.

The case dragged on in court for a while with the defendant (Oshiomhole) requesting out-of-court settlement having realised he could not mount a formidable defence to support his claim.

But while apologising yesterday, Oshiomole described Ortom as a dear friend and brother with whom he had shared so much in common, including mutual respect.

Oshiomhole said: “I made certain comments about Dr. Ortom based on the information I have since found to be false and baseless.

“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.

“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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