By Abdulwahab Abdulah
LAGOSâ€”Fresh evidence have been filed before an Abuja High Court by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, against former governor of Taraba State, Rev. Jolly Nyame, over his on-going N180 million fraud case.
The new evidence and additional witnesses who have volunteered information to prosecute the case, were filed before Justice Adebukola Banjoko. Some of the witnesses include bank and government officials.
Part of the evidence filed before the court by the anti-graft agency against Nyame are banksâ€™ account opening packages by some of his aides; certified true copies of account opening packages of the aides, certified true copies of statements of accounts and certified true copies of 18 cheque books.
At the resumed hearing of the case, yesterday, Mr. Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, leading 14 others, filed preliminary objection to EFCCâ€™s additional proofs of evidence. He described the action as persecution instead of prosecution.
However, the prosecution counsel, Mr. Rotimi Jacobs, told the court that EFCCâ€™s action of filing additional proofs of evidence was within the ambit of the law. â€œWe are not limited by law to file additional proofs. The filing of preliminary objection to the prosecutionâ€™s proofs of evidence is novel in law, we would surely need to argue that out,â€ he argued.
The former governor had previously filed an application seeking to quash the charges brought against him by EFCC. He prayed the court to quash the charges on the ground that there was no prima facie case established against him and also for want of jurisdiction.
However, the court dismissed his application for lacking in merit.
Subsequently, he approached the Appeal Court which also dismissed the application on February 24, 2010.Â He further went to the Supreme Court to seek for the same relief. Upholding the ruling of the lower court, the Apex Court, in its ruling read by Justice Olufunlola Oyelola Adekeye, ruled that the FCT High Court has jurisdiction to try him.
The matter has been adjourned till today for further hearing.
The Apex court held: â€œOn this score, we have before us two concurrent findings of the two lower courts that the charge before the FCT High Court, Abuja is competently before the court and the criminal charge can now proceed to hearing. This court has no cause to interfere with the two decisions. Appeal is dismissed for lacking in merit.â€