- Taiwo Olorunyomi, an investigator with the ICPC has indicted former Plateau governor Jonah Jang
- Olorunyomi, who is also a witness, alleged that the governor diverted funds meant for SMEs in the state
- He made the allegation while being led in evidence in a High Court in Plateau on Tuesday, April 9
Taiwo Olorunyomi, an investigator with the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) and witness has indicted former Plateau governor Jonah Jang.
Olorunyomi alleged that Jang diverted N2 billion which the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) released to his government for small businesses in the state.
He made the allegation while being led in evidence by Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) counsel, Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, in a High Court in Plateau on Tuesday, April 9.
His words: “The CBN entered into a partnership with the Plateau government to establish a state SME development agency which would be the vehicle to disburse the funds and recover same.
“We discovered that when the money was released, it went to the Plateau project account instead of the SME project.
“The money again was later moved into another account. In our investigation we discovered that the money was used for classified expenditure, an expenditure that has no document to prove how it was expended.
“The defendant (Jang) to our amazement in his statement told us that he did not know what classified expenditure meant. From our investigation, the said money is still with the defendant.”
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The EFCC had alleged that Jang embezzled the money through Mr Pam Yusuf, then a cashier in the office of the secretary to the state government.
Olorunyomi also claimed that the defendant also withdrew another N3 billion, N700 million and N400 million cash in trenches from the state SUBEB account.
He said Jang stated that the money was borrowed from the account to pay contractors, fund other liabilities in the state and for ‘classified expenditure.’
The witness said that the second defendant (Pam) withdrew the said amounts in cash and delivered it to the first defendant (Jang) stating that their action hindered the activities in SUBEB at the time he was governor of the state.
Also, Jacobs while presenting the second witness, the secretary to the state government of Plateau and tendering the statement of the second defendant prayed the court to accept documents tendered by the witness.
Counsel to Jang, Mike Ozekhome, SAN, however objected the prayer, stating that the prosecution did not present him with the documents before sitting and therefore could not present same to the court, describing it as an ‘ambush.’
Ozekhome prayed the court to reject the calling of the witness and accept the statement of the second defendant as he was not served with the documents before the court sitting.
The judge, Justice Daniel Longji, in his ruling, held that a party must not be taken by surprise especially in a criminal case.
Longji held that if one must present a document as exhibit, the defence must have the document.
He then adjourned the matter until Thursday, April 11, for continuation of hearing.
Meanwhile, a former deputy national publicity secretary of the All Progressives Congress, Comrade Timi Frank, has stated that corruption is responsible for kidnapping, banditry in some parts of northern Nigeria.
Comrade Frank in a statement sent to Legit.ng on Sunday, April 7, opined that the mindless looting of public funds that has so far characterised the current administration is directly responsible for persistent insecurity in the country.
He lamented that the president has woefully failed to protect Nigerians and demanded that the current “tired and incompetent heads of security agencies and Service Chiefs be sacked.”
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