From Scholastica Onyeka, Makurdi

Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, said he has decided to withdraw his case at the election petition tribunal where he was challenging the declaration of the All Progressives Congress, (APC) candidate, Titus Zam, as the winner of the Benue North West senatorial district election.

National Assembly elections were conducted on February 25, 2023 and results declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), in which he lost.

Zam was Ortom’s former special adviser on Bureau for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs.

Shortly after the election, Ortom rejected the result and proceeded to prosecute the case at the tribunal.

Briefing newsmen after meeting with stakeholders from his constituency and members of his campaign council, Ortom said: “Though there was glaring evidence of malpractices, including non-transmission of results electronically during the conduct of the Benue North West senatorial election, I have taken the decision to withdraw my case from the tribunal.”

Ortom quoted the Bible, John 3:27, saying: “A man can receive nothing, except it is given to him from heaven.”

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He added that the decision to withdraw his case from the court is in the interest of peace and without prejudice to the suits filed by other candidates of his party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

He said: “As a leader of PDP, I will continue to support the party in collaboration with other leaders to enable it bounce back from the mistakes and drawbacks that are affecting it at the moment.”

He reassured the people of Benue State that as Governor, he will continue to provide selfless service in all sectors of development till the end of his tenure on May 29, 2023.

“For those I might have offended in this journey of serving the state and our country, I seek their forgiveness, as I also forgive those who have offended me,” he said.

While commending the resilience of Benue people who went out to vote during the elections despite the glaring provocation and intimidation by the federal might, he also appreciated the PDP in the state for supporting him all the way.

He said it has been an honour to serve the people of Benue State as governor, saying he always ensured equity, fairness, justice and the rule of law and has executed the mandate given to him by God almighty through Benue people. He also said as a key political player in Benue State whose career has spanned over 40 years, in key positions at the local, state and national levels, he remains grateful to the people of Benue State and God whose mercy and blessings have enabled him to attain the heights.