N1.64bn fraud suit: Nyame to know fate on May 30
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N1.64bn fraud suit: Nyame to know fate on May 30

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JOLLY NYAME - N1.64bn fraud suit: Nyame to know fate on May 30

Former Governor of Taraba, Jolly Nyame, charged with N1.64bn fraud suit, will on May 30, know his fate as Justice Adebukola Banjoko of the FCT High Court will deliver judgment.

Banjoko fixed the date for judgment after counsel to parties had adopted their addresses.

The EFCC charged Nyame with criminal breach of trust and misappropriation of government funds on June 22, 2010.

Earlier, Mr Olalekan Ojo, Counsel to Nyame said the confessional statement the EFCC had relied on was marred by inconsistency and therefore urged the court to discountenance it.

Ojo argued that his client had promised to return the alleged stolen funds if prosecution witnesses could show evidence to prove that he stole them.

He said: “My Lord, at it stance, no witness has testified or brought out any evidence linking my client to have stolen any funds from Taraba Government’’.

He also urged the court to be circumspect of frivolous evidence given by some of the prosecution witnesses with the viewing to dismissing them.

Ojo specifically mentioned Mrs Asabe Mengua, a prosecution witness whom he claimed took her evidence from the state’s former Commissioner for Finance, Abubakar Tutare, who had testified earlier.

Ojo therefore, drew the attention of the court to the fact that Mengua had told the court that she heard from Tutare that Nyame directed that certain funds be paid to Salman Global Ventures Ltd.

The counsel argued that such evidence was not substantive, direct but `unreliable’ and `fraudulent’.

“Our contention is that the prosecution has been unable to prove that the defendant gave that directive’’, he said.

He further argued that the evidence given by Tutare was a “self confessed beneficiary of an alleged fraud being fielded as a witness.’’

He submitted that all the allegations brought against his client had not been proven to secure his conviction, adding that all financial dealings under Nyame as governor were impeccable.

Ojo went ahead to urge the court dismiss the suit, adding that the state’s financial record indicated that the ex-governor diligently expended the funds on state projects and not on himself.

Mr Rotimi Jacobs(SAN), the Prosecuting Counsel, had urged the court to discountenance the arguments of the defence as the prosecution had been able to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt.

Jacobs said he had called fourteen relevant witnesses, adding that the defendant’s statement reproduced as evidence supported the prosecution in the case.

Jacobs said all financial misdemeanour committed during the defendant’s tenure as governor were aptly heaped on him.

“My Lord, the simple question to ask is whether the sum of N1.64 was stolen while the defendant was in charge as governor of the state. The answer is a big yes.

Jacob therefore submitted that the principal culprit was Nyame, adding that the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses exposed how the defendant stole and misused the monies.

He said the defendant had also supported the case by admitting that he collected money in his statement which he had not retracted.

“My Lord, we urge the court to dismiss all the issues canvassed by the defendant and go ahead to convict him’’, he said.

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Updated on September 12, 2018 at 10:15 am