N1.64bn Fraud: Nyame Knows Fate Feb 14

A former governor of
Taraba State, Jolly Nyame, who is being prosecuted by the Economic and
Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, before Justice Adebukola Banjoko of
the Federal Capital Territory, FCT High Court, Gudu on a 41-count charge
of criminal misappropriation of N1.64bn state funds will know his fate
on February 14, 2017 as to whether he has a case to answer or not.  
 
 
 
The
prosecution had on November 22, 2016 closed its case against Nyame
after presenting 14 witnesses. The trial, however, witnessed a twist on
the same day, as the defence told the court that it intended to file a
“no case” submission, as it believed that there was no prima facie case
established against Nyame. 
 
At the resumed sitting today, both the prosecution and the defence adopted their written addresses, and gave oral arguments. 
 
Charles
Edosomwan, SAN, counsel for Nyame, alluded to the fact that “crucial
elements are missing in this case”, and urged the court to “hold that
the testimony of prosecution witnesses have been so damaged and can’t be
relied on”.
 
He further argued that there was no
direct link between Nyame, and a house allegedly procured by him using
the diverted state funds, noting that “nobody tendered registered
documents linking him to it”.
 
According to him,
the trial was “an unnecessary waste of time through which an ordeal was
inflicted on Nyame, just because he was a former governor”.
 
Prosecuting
counsel, Adebisi Adeniyi, however, countered Edosomwan’s submission,
noting that “a prima facie case had indeed been established against
Nyame after the prosecution called 14 witnesses who testified to how
they assisted him to divert state funds”.
 
“In
the course of this trial, the defendant did not at any time deny that
he received some of the money in question, and in fact, he has even said
that he is ready to return the money,” Adeniyi said.
 
He
reminded the court that some of the witnesses had confessed in court
admitting their several roles during which funds were withdrawn from the
state treasury for Nyame’s use.
 
He
said: “Those who took part in purchase of stationery have come to court
and explained their roles through which the money was instead,
transferred to bank account belonging to close confidante of the
defendant, and all these were not contended.”
 
Citing
Exhibit Z6, Adeniyi reminded the court that another witness testified
to how money purportedly earmarked for the purchase of grains, were
never utilized for what it was pencilled for, but instead, “the money
was brought to the defendant”.
 
He further argued
that: “All your lordship will do is to see whether there’s ground upon
which your lordship can ask the defendant to enter his defence, not that
he is guilty or not, or whether evidence is good enough to convict him,
but to say he should defend himself.”
 
He
concluded that in the instant, the prosecution has led sufficient
evidence to warrant calling the defendant to enter into his defence.
 
“We urge your lordship to overrule this no case submission and to hold that the defendant has a case to answer,” he said.
 
After
listening to the arguments, Justice Banjoko, urged both parties to
submit the authorities cited in their submissions, adding that “I want
to go through all the evidence, and will give my ruling on February 14,
2017.”
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