The attention of Oracle Farms Limited has been drawn to media reports particularly one credited to Comrade Philip Agbese, National Coordinator of the National Democratic Front, NDF, who is said to have petitioned the Inspector General of Police on the death of one Simeon Shikor, said to be one of our staff.
The report claimed to have quoted a family member whose identity it did not disclose, of accusing Chief Dr Ortom of complicity in the death of the deceased for ritual purposes, obstructing investigating into the death and refusal to provide assistance for his funeral.
It is unfortunate that Mr Agbese, a well known Man Friday of the Benue State Governor, Dr Gabriel Suswam, has resorted to playing politics with the death of someone who he knows nothing about and has not been acquainted with the circumstances of his demise.
The facts of the case are different from the obvious false briefing that Mr Agbese received from his pay masters.
The deceased, the late Michael Chiko, an indigene of Ayilamo in Logo local government area of the state was not a staff of the farm but someone given temporary accommodation on the premises on humanitarian grounds.
In the afternoon of last Monday, 2nd March, 2015 I received a call from the farm that he had collapsed and died some meters from his residence.
I promptly reported to Chief Dr Samuel Ortom who directed that I report to the police immediately which I did.
Officers from the Police D Division in Makurdi accompanied me and some staff of the farm and we picked the body and deposited at the mortuary of the Federal Medical Center, Makurdi.
Thereafter, we were requested to make statements at the station which we did and were allowed to go.
Representatives of the family have since approached us and the police to allow them to take the body for burial but Chief Dr Ortom has insisted that an autopsy be conducted to ascertain cause of death.
Members of the family have related with us with understanding and I am not aware of any complaints or petition that they have lodged with the police or any authority on the unfortunate death.
While we await the outcome of the autopsy we wish to categorically state that we at Oracle Farms share the same vision with Oracle Business Limited Foundation which is committed to saving lives through intervention in the treatment of snake bite victims, hernia patients as well as general poverty alleviation through several empowerment schemes.
Within the last three years alone the foundation spent over N50 million on hospital retainership on some of the aforementioned cases.
We are neither ritualists nor cultists and Benue people know that at Oracle Farms Limited we don’t waste but rather save human lives.
Acting Farm Manager.