Governor Ortom Sacks Convicted Executive Secretary

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Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue state had ordered the immediate termination of the appointment of the Executive Secretary (ES) of the Teachers Service Board (TSB), Mr James Pine, for embarrassing the state government.

The Acting Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Dr Bem Meladu, revealed this on Monday in Makurdi that the state government was embarrassed by the actions of Pine who assaulted a staff member under him.

He said that Pine also used criminal force on the staff and while the case was in court, he turned
down all overtures toward peaceful resolution of the matter.

The SSG regretted that the matter dragged on in court till he was convicted by a court on charges
of assault and criminal force.

He said that very senior officials in government tried to arbitrate in the matter to no avail and
lamented that the conviction was “very embarrassing to the government”.

“Ortom has, therefore, directed the termination of his appointment because Pine’s conviction by the court was an embarrassment to the governor, the government and the people of the state.”

Pine, who was appointed by Ortom in 2015, was dragged to court by one of his subordinates, James Asema, on account of assault and criminal force.

The magistrate court had on Thursday last week found him guilty and sentenced him to five
months imprisonment or an option of N10, 000 fine.

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